Western spies use lizards and assorted small reptiles to “attract atomic waves” and spy on Iran’s nuclear program, the former chief-of-staff of Iran’s armed forces has claimed.
Hassan Firuzabadi, senior military adviser to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made the revelation as he responded to questions from local media on the recent arrest of environmentalists, Ouest France reports.
It is the latest in a long line of claims made in the troubled Middle East that include allegations western forces have also used an eagle, a dolphin, a vulture, and Mossad-inspired shark attacks on various Islamic foes – with varying degrees of success.
While denying knowledge of the particulars of those cases, Hassan Firuzabadi said he did know categorically that the West had also used tourists, scientists and environmentalists to spy on Iran. Lizards now fall into that subset of subterfuge.
“Several years ago, some individuals came to Iran to collect aid for Palestine… We were suspicious of the route they chose,” he told ILNA news agency.
“In their possessions were a variety of reptile desert species like lizards, chameleons… We found out that their skin attracts atomic waves and that they were nuclear spies who wanted to find out where inside the Islamic Republic of Iran we have uranium mines and where we are engaged in atomic activities,” he said.
Members of the Israeli public phoned the Israel Nature and Parks Authority to alert it to Facebook reports and pictures of a vulture with an Israeli identification ring and location transmitter captured by residents of the south Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil, a spokeswoman, Tali Tenenbaum, said.
“Reports passed to us show the vulture tied with a rope by local people who write that they suspect Israeli espionage apparently because of the transmitter attached to him,” the authority said.
“In the 21st century, we expect people to understand that wild animals are not harmful,” it added. “We hope that the Lebanese will release him.”
Palestinian media also reported claims by the Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers that they had apprehended a dolphin off their Mediterranean coastline equipped with video cameras for an Israeli spying mission.
In 2011, Saudi media reported that a vulture carrying a GPS transmitter and an identification ring from Tel Aviv University had been detained by security forces who suspected it was being used for espionage. Before that Israel’s foreign ministry was forced to dismiss Egyptian reports linking a spate of Red Sea shark attacks to Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency.
Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: Follow @SunSimonKent or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org