Skip to main content

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

By CNN Staff
updated 12:39 PM EST, Sun December 15, 2013
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
updated 6:49 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
British PM David Cameron has had the narrowest of political escapes.
updated 9:06 PM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
British journalist John Cantlie hadn't been seen in nearly two years. Now, he's the latest hostage to be paraded out by ISIS.
The burial leader. The hospital gatekeeper. The disease detective. All telling powerful, stories from West Africa.
updated 7:03 PM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Alibaba's IPO is unlike anything investors have ever seen and could threaten other online retailers. Maggie Lake reports.
updated 11:58 PM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Indian PM Narendra Modi has said al Qaeda will fail if it seeks to spread its terror network into his country.
updated 8:01 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Put yourself in the shoes (and sixth-century black robes) of ISIS' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the mysterious boss of the terror group.
updated 3:39 PM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
 Tennis Player Li Na attends the WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party as guests enjoy Ciroc Vodka presented by Dubai Duty Free at Kensington Roof Gardens on June 19, 2014 in London,
Asia's first grand slam singles champion Li Na has called time on her 15-year tennis career.
Jenson Button has some of quickest reactions ever shown at an advanced sports lab.
updated 7:24 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Creative companies with quirky ideas find new lending models advantageous.
updated 10:09 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Even death couldn't part two skeletons excavated from a lost chapel in an English county, found with their fingers entwined.
updated 6:07 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT