Military Official: West Used Lizards to Spy on Iran's Nuclear Program

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Hassan Firuzabadi, senior military adviser to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was responding to questions from local media on the recent arrest of environmentalists.

"In the context of hybrid warfare, every environmentalist and scientist active in agricultural studies or foreign tourist in Iran might be a spy", Major General Hasan Firouzabadi told the state-run Iran Labor News Agency (ILNA) in an interview February 13.

Kavous Seyed Emami, 63, a renowned professor and founder of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, was buried on Tuesday in the village of Ammami, north of Tehran. Seventeen days later, Emami's son, Ramin, tweeted the news of his father's death while in custody at Tehran's notorious Evin Prison.

Derafshan said he had watched a video from the cell along with the family, which authorities have said proves he killed himself. "I still can't believe this", he wrote, adding that the family was asking for an independent autopsy.

"But when we arrested them, they said they had come for fishing and were tourists".

Emami's is the third alleged suicide in detention to be reported by Iranian authorities since the start of the year.

Iranian-Canadian environmentalist Kavous Seyed-Emami at an unidentified location.

"Members of this network installed cameras in strategic areas under cover of monitoring the environment, while in fact monitoring the country's missile activities", Dolatabadi claimed.

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Firouzabadi says there is a history of environmental espionage in Iran.

'Several years ago, some individuals came to Iran to collect aid for Palestine, ' he said. We let them go, but kept what they were carrying. In their possessions were a variety of reptile desert species like lizards.

Firuzabadi suggested that the skin of the reptiles "attracts atomic waves", providing information about where in Iran uranium mines are located and what sort of work is done in them - provided the routes the lizard-owners had taken happens to be close to such sites.

Accusations of spies using animals are not unprecedented in Iran.

In October 2008 Iranian security forces arrested two pigeons suspected of spying on its nuclear facilities.

"Some metal rings and invisible strings were attached to the bird".

Several months earlier, Hamas claimed to have caught a dolphin wearing Israeli spying equipment.

"The parliament will hold a meeting with officials of the judiciary, the prison guard, the Revolutionary Guard, intelligence and the Environment Organization in the next few days", he added.

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