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. Iran warns scientists against US, Israeli 'traps'
TEHRAN (AFP) Jul 16, 2005
Iran's spy chief on Saturday warned the country's nuclear scientists against "traps" laid by Israeli and American intelligence agencies.

"Iranian scientists must beware of enemy plots," Intelligence Minister Ali Yunessi was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.

"Americans and Israelis are trying to approach (them) through different means."

"We call on scientists and specialists to be vigilant when they travel abroad so they don't fall into enemy intelligence services' traps," he said.

"We have identified a number of scientists who involuntarily fell into the traps of enemy intelligence services and we are saving them."

Yunessi announced in December that around 10 people had been arrested on charges of spying for American and Israeli intelligence, including a number of workers at the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation.

Some of them were allegedly sent by the United States and Israel to try and sell nuclear material in a sting operation aimed at showing Tehran was seeking the bomb even as it insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful.

Washington and Israel have repeatedly accused the Islamic Republic of diverting its civilian nuclear energy programme into manufacturing atomic weapons, charges Tehran strenuously denies.

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