Skip to main content

Report: Iran arrests alleged MI6 spy working for Britain in Iran

By CNN Staff
December 15, 2013 -- Updated 1739 GMT (0139 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The accused spy was arrested in southeastern Iran's Kerman province, news agency says
  • The man allegedly met with British intelligence officers 11 times, ISNA reports
  • The UK Foreign Office says it does not comment on intelligence matters

(CNN) -- Iranian security officials say they have arrested an MI6 spy in southeastern Iran's Kerman province, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported Saturday.

"The spy was arrested after several months of complex intelligence activities," ISNA quoted the head of Kerman's revolutionary court, Dadkhoda Salari, as saying.

The accused spy visited with British intelligence officers 11 times both in and outside Iran and has confessed to his crimes, Salari reportedly told ISNA. The MI6 is Britain's foreign intelligence agency.

The UK Foreign Office told CNN it did not comment on intelligence matters.

Relations between Britain and Iran have warmed somewhat in recent months. An Iranian envoy this week made the first visit to the United Kingdom since all Iranian diplomats were expelled in 2011, following an attack by protesters on the UK Embassy in Tehran.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said this week that relations were improving "on a step-by-step, reciprocal basis."

The reported arrest of an MI6 spy also comes in the same week as reports have emerged in the United States that former FBI agent Bob Levinson, who went missing on a trip to Iran in 2007, was working there for the CIA, the U.S. intelligence service.

The State Department and Levinson's family have denied he was working for the U.S. government ever since he disappeared.

The Associated Press and The Washington Post first reported the CIA angle on Thursday. Officials have maintained that Levinson was conducting private business in Iran.

At the same time, a bipartisan group of senators in Washington has been discussing possible legislation that would impose tougher sanctions on Iran. However, it is not clear whether the Democratic majority would bring such a deal up for a vote.

White House: Bob Levinson not a government employee when he made Iran trip

CNN's Mitra Mobasherat and Laura Smith-Spark contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 1255 GMT (2055 HKT)
ISIS has made surprise gains in Iraq and Syria in recent months, but may begin to suffer setbacks on the battlefield.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 1844 GMT (0244 HKT)
The fear of Russian invasion is receding but peace may still be tricky to find.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0023 GMT (0823 HKT)
Convicted match fixer Wilson Raj Perumal boasts to CNN of fixing World Cup games adding: "I was on the bench and telling players what to do, giving orders to the coach."
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0815 GMT (1615 HKT)
Don't like the country you live in? Meet the people who created their own "micronations."
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 0934 GMT (1734 HKT)
"Princess Fragrant" is the latest effort to foster harmony in China's restive Xinjiang region.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The signs exist that indicate U.S. airstrikes into Syria are on the way.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 0340 GMT (1140 HKT)
AC360 looks back at the most moving moments from Michael Brown's funeral.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0244 GMT (1044 HKT)
The mother of a hostage freed after two years captivity says it's not time to party.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 0946 GMT (1746 HKT)
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 0600 GMT (1400 HKT)
"I just love it when I get milk-to-dark converts," says Kerrin Rousset, before she leads a small cocoa-hungry crowd through Zurich's Old Town.
ADVERTISEMENT