Arrested US spy, Amir Hekmati.
A senior Iranian lawmaker says the US government demanding that Iran return the CIA spy, recently arrested by the country’s intelligence agents, is outrageous.
“The US spy is a criminal and must be tried in Iran for the crime he has committed,” Kazem Jalali said on Wednesday.
The lawmaker, who is also the spokesman for Iran’s Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, added that US officials have shamelessly sent spies and spy drones into Iran and brazenly says they want their operative and spy drone back.
Noting that President Barack Obama is in dire conditions, Jalali said, “ The severe economic crisis in the United States and the difficult times ahead of the Democrats in the upcoming presidential election, have prompted them to launch such a immature political propaganda campaign.”
“How come that the Americans kidnap Iranian citizens and keep them in custody for [many] years, but…when our intelligence forces arrest an American spy, the US president [Barack Obama] says he must be freed?” he asked.
On Saturday, December 17, Iran’s Intelligence Ministry announced that it has arrested a CIA spy of Iranian descent, foiling an intricate American plot to carry out espionage activities in the Islamic Republic.
In a televised confession broadcast on the Iranian television on Sunday night, the US intelligence operative, Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, said he joined the US Army in 2001 and underwent decade-long intelligence training.
He added that he was sent to the US-run Bagram Airbase in eastern Afghanistan and given access to classified intelligence before flying to Tehran.
Hekmati served with the elite US Marines as an Arabic translator, and travelled to Iran some four months ago, said his father, adding that Amir was born in the State of Arizona in southwestern US and joined the Marines after he receiving his high school diploma.
On Monday, December 19, the United States demanded that Iran return its captured CIA spy “without delay.”
US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland added that the US had requested access to Hekmati through the embassy of Switzerland, which maintains a US interest section in Tehran in the absence of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
“We call on the Iranian government to grant the Swiss protecting power immediate access to him and release (him) without delay,” Nuland told reporters.
She claimed that the family of the detained US spy first reported his detention in September and that the State Department has offered the relatives consular assistance.