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. Iran says 10 arrested nuclear spies on US, Israeli payroll
TEHRAN (AFP) Dec 22, 2004
Ten people arrested on suspicion of spying on Iran's nuclear programme were working for US and Israeli intelligence services, Intelligence Minister Ali Yunessi said Wednesday.

"More than 10 nuclear spies were arrested during the current (Iranian) year," which started on March 20, Yunessi said, quoted by the official news agency IRNA.

"Three of them were working for the (Iranian) Atomic Energy Organization, the rest of them were not public servants ... They were working for the CIA and Mossad. They were arrested in Tehran and Hormuzgan," in southern Iran, he said.

"They are currently in the custody of the revolutionary court, and we will not announce their names before their trials ... There is no prominent person among them," Yunessi added.

In August, Yunessi announced the arrest of a number of spies who sent information on Iran's nuclear programme to foreigners.

He said the People's Mujahedeen, an armed opposition group based in Iraq that the regime in Tehran labels as "hypocrites", had played the central role in the espionage.

The group's political wing, the National Council for Resistance in Iran, in 2002 revealed two nuclear sites Iran had been hiding, including a uranium-enrichment plant in Natanz.

Last month the group alleged Iran was hiding a uranium enrichment facility in Tehran and aimed at getting the atomic bomb next year.

The group also said the father of the Pakistani atomic bomb, Abdul Qadeer Khan who has admitted to running an international nuclear smuggling network, delivered bomb designs and weapons-grade highly enriched uranium to Iran.

Tehran insists that its nuclear activities are purely peaceful.

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