Iran says US 'humiliated'

Updated: 2011-12-19 09:06


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TEHRAN - Iran's foreign ministry said the recent arrest of a US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent in Iran and the downed spy drone proved to the United States that any espionage operations against the Islamic republic would lead to "humiliation," the English language Tehran Times daily reported on Sunday.

The US espionage activities came at a time when the military and security forces of the Islamic Republic are at its peak, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as saying by local satellite Press TV on Sunday.

The spokesman added that Iran would take necessary political, legal, and security measures against any actions that target the interests of the country.

Iran's Intelligence Ministry announced Saturday in a statement that it had arrested a US agent who it claimed to be a CIA analyst on an infiltration mission.

The agent, with an Iranian nationality, used to work for the US Military Intelligence Division's military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, said the statement.

Iran's intelligence agency identified the agent upon his arrival in Afghanistan and arrested him when he attempted to start espionage activities in Iran, according to the statement.

Kazem Jalali, spokesman for the Iranian Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said that Iran shattered US intelligence agency's delusions of grandeur by foiling recent CIA plots against the country, the Press TV reported on Sunday.

Capturing the agent was the first blow to CIA's reputation, Jalali said, adding that the arrest of the agent by Iranian intelligence forces shows the cracks in the United States' power.

"Iran has proven at different junctures that it has complete intelligence supremacy and with every passing day the intelligence system of our country appears ever more successful in counterespionage and protecting national security," the lawmaker said.

Jalali said that the West has no option but dialogue and cooperation with Iran but this can only happen when "the West recognizes all the rights of the Iranian nation."

Iranian media reported earlier this month that the Iranian military downed a RQ-170 stealth aircraft of the United States in the eastern Iran after finding it transgressing the eastern border. The country's state TV later showed the footage of the drone.

The US officials denied the drone was brought down by Iran, insisting the RQ-170 drone, an unmanned aircraft used for reconnaissance and surveillance by the United States in Afghanistan, crashed due to mechanical problems.

US President Barack Obama said later that his country has asked Iran to return a downed US reconnaissance drone.

On Sunday, Iran's Foreign Minister, Ali-Akbar Salehi told reporters after a cabinet meeting that Iran has sent notes to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Non-Aligned Movement, the United Nations and its Secretary General Ban Ki-moon over violation of Iranian airspace by the US stealth drone, Press TV reported.

Salehi added that the captured US drone would remain in the country's possession as part of its assets. He highlighted that the decision about the American aircraft rests with Iran's Supreme National Security Council.

In November, an Iranian lawmaker said that Iran has been surrounded by Western spying centers near its borders in neighboring countries.

Zohre Elahian, a member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Iranian parliament, said that Israeli Mossad, US CIA and British MI6 have established espionage centers in the western, northern and eastern borders of Iran.

The espionage bases are tasked with organizing terrorist actions and intelligence operations against Iran and its citizens, said the lawmaker.

Iran said that it has arrested a number of Israeli and US agents in the country over past years.