In an all-out war, Iran’s enemies including Israel and the West are seeking cunning strategies to hinder Iran’s peaceful nuclear technology and progress by every means possible. Despite all these desperate attempts which have turned into a matter of life and death for the West, the sabotage commanders and masterminds have not gained much. “Since 2009, not only has our nuclear industry not been suspended or gotten slower, it has even gotten faster,” says Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi, Head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization in PRESS TV’s new, exclusive documentary on the issue of industrial sabotage plotted and directed by Israel and its allies to target Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities in a hidden warfare. Industrial sabotage, espionage attempts, cyber attacks, assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists, sanctions, and threats are high on this hidden agenda. Proofs and evidence are galore. Iran’s Atomic Organization displays, in an exhibition, industrial sabotage elements that have found their way into nuclear centrifuges. Moreover, cases of Iranian spies and moles that have been manipulated and recruited by Israel for espionage purposes under a myriad of disguises are interviewed to provide hard and solid evidence for this secret, unbalanced warfare. They are all victims of the West’s nasty scheme to halt Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities. Iranian scientists and experts are skillfully counterattacking all this warfare and have gained a lot in this regard.
TIME CODE: 00:00_05:00
Narration: Iran is a country which has been targeted by strikes of sabotage from different angles in order to halted advancements in Nuclear Technology. Tehran; Countering Industrial Sabotage Exhibition, For the first time Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization displays industrial sabotage elements that had clawed their way into nuclear centrifuges. The equipment was either already contaminated when purchased; or became contaminated through a third party after purchase and installment. Covert effects on the establishments are sometimes revealed months into launching; because it often takes weeks to set up and get the equipment going.
SOUNDBITE [Farsi]: “The sabotage agent had very skillfully put the detonator inside the pressure gage. If the cap was on or if you didn’t know about it, nothing could be detected at all. And when the explosion takes place and that small detonator explodes, a very small cavity is created in the body of the pressure gage that will eventually lead to a connection between the interior space of the vacuum cycle and the surrounding environment. And that will eventually make the machine crash.”
Narration: Industrial sabotage is an economic sham to weigh opponents down. Rivals hope to damage one another’s systems by selling them contaminated parts. The significance and intricacy of the mission gets even more complicated when the target is nuclear enrichment equipment. That’s when a third party has to step in.
SOUNDBITE [Farsi]: “What you see here is a system of industrial power and automation for nuclear units. The opponent’s intelligence agent, through the spies inside the site, placed explosives in the equipment caps. And after the explosives were inserted, they caused fire and flame in some industrial units.”
Narration: Iran says, sabotage on nuclear equipment and nuclear sites have been intense in the past few years; but the whole concept is not a new story.
INTERVIEW [Farsi], Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi, Head, Iran’s Atomic Energy Org.: “We discovered that Western intelligence services especially, and opposing countries, and the enemies of Iran are taking serious and severe measures to sabotage (nuclear facilities); especially industrial sabotage. Because through industrial sabotage the extent of damage is vast, it requires less provision, and also the international problems are less from their point of view. Because they can say if defective equipment is used in an establishment, or if something happens, or an explosion takes place, well, who’s going to accuse who?! Nobody can accuse anyone. They can say you didn’t manage the equipment properly, yourselves. Or you didn’t supervise the process properly.”
Narration: Industrial sabotage on nuclear facilities is conducted via hardware or software. The most common of the latter is a cyber-attack or producing malware. In the course of cyber warfare, the production and spread of “Stuxnet” took over major headlines in 2010. This computer worm is designed to attack and ruin nuclear centrifuges.
SOUNDBITE [Farsi]: “The standard rotational speed of a centrifuge is 63,000 revolutions per minute (RPM). Should for any reason the speed goes over or below this figure, the speed will be monitored by the connected inverter system and the PLC (Programmable Logic Controller). The Stuxnet virus entered the centrifuges’ controller machines. It disrupted the operation of the PLC and inverter systems. And ultimately, it disrupted the machine’s rotation. It made the machines reach an 84,000 RPM, and the machine crashed.”
Narration: The discovery of Stuxnet in different countries gained momentum in global news. Western media began fueling speculations about the intentions behind spreading the malware.
TIME CODE: 05:00_10:00
Western Media Clip
Narration: Ali Asghar Zarean is the Deputy Head of the Atomic Energy Organization
INTERVIEW [Farsi], Ali Asghar Zarean, AEOI Deputy Head for Security: “Since late March 2014 we’ve encountered over 20 different types of malware that tried to enter the industry; with the purpose of collecting information and also with the purpose of creating defects. But with the measures we’ve taken including UTM, firewall, closing ports and so on, nothing has happened. ”
Narration: The other malware called “Flame” was found shortly after. Flame, too became a hot topic widely reflected in world media. This time round, speculations arose about the source of propagation. Media outlets were more concerned about the group or government behind the production and spread of such malware.
Western Media Clips
INTERVIEW [English], Wayne Madsen, Investigative Journalist
Narration: Wayne Madsen is an American investigative journalist. He’s done extensive research about Israel’s cyber and traditional misconducts.
INTERVIEW [English], Wayne Madsen, Investigative Journalist
Narration: Some experts believe cyber attacks are prelude to the military attack and in some cases equivalent to it
INTERVIEW [English], Wayne Madsen, Investigative Journalist
Narration: Although world media have made numerous speculations about the extent of damages Iran’s nuclear establishments have suffered, Mr. Zarean (زارعان) says Iran’s managed to foil sabotage attacks; hence, the scale of Iran’s nuclear activities has not been affected.
TIME CODE: 10:00_15:00
INTERVIEW [Farsi], Ali Asghar Zarean, AEOI Deputy Head for Security: “Let me tell you something simple. If you look at the outcome or what we produce in a year or in a month, it’s obvious. If the outcome is less, the machine has crashed. But when we’ve had the same amount of product until today, and it is there in grams and in whatever they measure weight with, how could it have crashed?! If there’s a crash and a ten foot machine falls to pieces, we are going to need at least two years to build and replace that machine. Where’s that? ”
Narration: Iran’s been keen on monitoring hardware and software sabotages on enrichment facilities; and taking measures for damage control. That, under circumstances where opposing states who’re against Iran’s developing nuclear know-how have been doing all they can to prevent Iran from progressing further into different realms of nuclear science.
INTERVIEW [Farsi], Ali Asghar Zarean, AEOI Deputy Head for Security: “And Just as Obama, The US President, officially announced Saban Forumthat if we could, we would throw out all the bolts and nuts at Iran’s nuclear facilities. If they seriously could, they would have done that by now.”
SOUNDBITE [English], President Barack Obama of the US at Saban Forum 2013: “If I had an option, if we could create an option in which Iran eliminated every single nut and bolt of their nuclear program, and foreswore the possibility of ever having a nuclear program, and, for that matter, got rid of all its military capabilities, I would take it. But”
INTERVIEW [Farsi], Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi, Head, Iran’s Atomic Energy Org.: “When they came along causing all this destruction, and making all these malwares, we put together a committee and a group of scientists to deal with the software sabotage. We are now a powerful country in making different software that can easily work against malware coming in from abroad.”
Narration: To get in the way of Iran developing nuclear know-how, sabotage was just one of the many schemes. In recent years, different methods have been pursued to disrupt Iran’s nuclear progress.
INTERVIEW [Farsi], S. Mahmoud Alavi, Iran’s Intelligence Minister: “They try to influence the spirits of those working at nuclear sites, and to make them feel frustrated, feel hopeless, to infiltrate among them if they can and to employ some individuals; whether they’re aware of it or not, and to take information out of them. And if all those schemes don’t work, or don’t have the effect they’re supposed to, and they don’t manage to hinder the speed of the growth of the country in the realms of nuclear activities and the like, then they despicably attempt physical terror attacks on nuclear scientists. We saw how they shed the blood of a few of our beloved ones.”
Narration: Bombs, explosions and bullets were means of obliteration in what’s known as a physical operation. This has resulted in the death of four Iranian nuclear scientists.
INTERVIEW [Farsi], Ali Asghar Zarean, AEOI’s Deputy Head for Security: “It has to be seen as a package. It means industrial sabotage, followed by espionage, followed by sanctions, threats and corruption; we have to see it as a pack that has priorities.”
Narration: Iran’s Intelligence Minister says there’s damning evidence of the continuance of such terror attempts to target and take down Iran’s nuclear scientists.
INTERVIEW [Farsi], S. Mahmoud Alavi, Iran’s Intelligence Minister: “In this regard there’s lots of proof, evidence, even documents, physical documents even. Espionage agencies, especially the Zionist Regime’s espionage agency (Mossad) is like the devil. If you throw it out the door it’ll sneak in through the window. If you’re not careful for one second, it will start its sabotage and espionage attempts again.”
Narration: As talks continue between Iran and the P5+1, the American CBS news network revealed in a report that the Obama administration communicated their wish to halt terror attacks on Iranian scientists in order to allow diplomatic negotiations take their course
INTERVIEW [English], Wayne Madsen, Investigative Journalist
TIME CODE: 15:00_20:00
Narration: The CBS report divulged and verified prior speculations that Israel had to do with plotting the assassinations. And on top of that, the United States had full knowledge of similar Israeli agenda still at hand. Expectations were high that the US president’s request would be met by Israeli officials. But Iran says Israeli attempts to sabotage Iranian nuclear facilities and assassinate nuclear scientist have gone further.
INTERVIEW [Farsi], S. Mahmoud Alavi, Iran’s Intelligence Minister: “We’ve recently discovered a project which is very extensive.”
Narration: One of the sabotage projects is to identify, communicate with and employ Iranian expatriates or even those just temporarily traveling abroad.
INTERVIEW [Farsi], S. Mahmoud Alavi, Iran’s Intelligence Minister: “So, they communicate with Iranians who are abroad. And through them, they grab hold of Iranians living in Iran. And then they make their demands and get information. But the Iranian abroad or the Iranian in Iran who’s the recipient of the Iranian abroad is not always aware of the fact that they’ve been trapped in espionage. It could so happen that neither the Iranian abroad nor the Iranian in Iran knows he/she is trapped in espionage. It could be done unknowingly.”
Narration: Amir; a young Iranian man who’d gone to Thailand with his friends for a vacation. He is one of the preys caught in the trap of the Mossad, Israel’s Espionage Agency.
Reconstruction Clip from Amir’s Memories [Farsi]: “We went to the city of Pattaya, in a hotel named Royal, that’s where we were. It was our second or third night there. There was a night club there. We went there. It was for Iranians. We sat down. Some Iranians were sitting there Farzad and I said hello to some people who were on our flight. We said hello to all the Iranians who were there. Then, we sat down with them. As we were talking, we met a man named Fereydoon. He asked us what our names were. My friend and I introduced ourselves. He asked us if we were Iranian. We said: “Yes”. Then he asked if we were traveling from Tehran. We said: “yes, we’re traveling from Tehran.” Fereydoon had brought a friend along named Tehrani. That’s where we first met him; where we were first introduced. Then we sat down, and were introduced to him. We talked, and got to know one another. Again that night, Fereydoon called Farzad. He said: “Let’s have lunch together tomorrow.” Then he called at noon and invited us for lunch in Bangkok. So we got into a cab and went there.”
INTERVIEW [English], Wayne Madsen, Investigative Journalist
Narration: The second time they met, a guy who introduced himself as “Tehrani” asked Amir for a favor.
INTERVIEW [Farsi], Amir: “He told me he had a problem. I asked him what his problem was. He said: “A man I’d trusted and done business with in Iran for years has taken advantage of my trust and stolen my money.” Then I asked what I could do to help him. He said: “I want to know if this man is in Iran or not.” I said: “Well, how? Give me an address or a phone number I can contact him through and find out where he is.”
TIME CODE: 20:00_25:00
Narration: This time, “Tehrani” told Amir how they could keep in touch when Amir returns to Iran. His suggestion still did not raise a red flag.
INTERVIEW [Farsi], Amir: “He said: “I’ll refer to his car as ‘box’ and I’ll refer to his number as ‘code’ or just ‘number’.” I asked why. He said: “Because I have a feeling one of my partners is in this with him and they’ve stolen my money together. I said: “Fine, no problem.” He said: “So, when you get to Iran, send me an e-mail. And when you do be very friendly with me in the e-mail so if my partner or colleagues see the e-mail they wouldn’t get suspicious of anybody working for me. I want to reveal what that man and my partners have done.” And when we were done talking he gave me $700 in an envelope. He told me to put it in my pocket. I opened it and saw the $700. Then he told me not to tell my friends anything. And I didn’t tell my friends anything until we came back to Iran.”
Narration: When Amir got back to Iran, he was determined to make up for the gift he’d received. So, along with a friend, he set out to find the addresses he was given.
Reconstruction Clip from Amir’s mission in Tehran [Farsi]: “When I got to Iran, I sent him an e-mail and told him I’d arrived. He replied to my e-mail. In the couple of e-mails we sent each other he gave me the company and car address.”
INTERVIEW [Farsi], Hossein: “I think it was near Jordan Street. It was close to a company office. I think Amir was supposed to see if the guy’s car was there.”
INTERVIEW [Farsi], Amir: ““Tehrani” gave me four pieces of information about this man who was in Iran. He gave me the addresses of the company, his car, his home and his photo. He said: “I want you to find out if he’s there or not; confirm if this man is in Iran or not.” When I went there and found his address and saw his car, I told him all about it. Then again after 2 or 3 months, he gave me a home address and a photo. I went and saw the house from outside and told him the whereabouts.”
Narration: As it turned out, the home and work place address Amir was given belonged to one of Iran’s nuclear scientists. With Amir’s help the address was verified and the whereabouts reached some folks who Iran says were Mossad agents. But that’s not where the story ends. After the addresses had been verified, “Tehrani” put Amir to the test once again. Seemingly, to find out just how much Amir can be counted on in Iran as an accomplice?
INTERVIEW [Farsi], Amir: “He contacted me once over the phone. He told me to do some damage to his car.”
INTERVIEW [English], Wayne Madsen, Investigative Journalist
Narration: Taking advantage of Iranian citizens is not always so easy for Israel. Most often they do not go by “A Security Service”. When it comes to connecting with Iranians; various methods are utilized.
INTERVIEW [Farsi], S. Mahmoud Alavi, Iran’s Intelligence Minister: “For instance imagine, they could communicate with individuals as a headhunter, or invite them to counseling, or want them for a job or recruitment, or run into them in a virtual setting, in various disguises. And that individual assumes he’s gone to work at a production firm, or an industrial firm, or for instance a firm that provides services, oblivious of the fact that recruitment and employment in a service providing company or a production firm is just a disguise. Behind the scenes is fulfilling a mission. And when individuals go in a bit further they realize there’s no such thing as a service providing firm, or a production firm. It’s all a cover.”
TIME CODE: 25:00_30:00
INTERVIEW [Farsi], Hossein: “I’m Hossein Kazem Darvish. I’m 27 years old. I have a high school diploma. I didn’t have an appropriate job. That’s why I turned to the World Wide Web, the internet. I googled job opportunities for bodyguards, since the field I was interested in was martial arts, I settled for a job I knew about and was prepared for. When I googled bodyguard on the internet I came across a DTS Corporation ad that had a white background and red Farsi fonts. The hiring conditions were stated there, age, an athletic ranking, circumstances that would allow one to live and work abroad. Then I thought it was a good opportunity. I had the qualifications. And so I sent my resume, application and my cell phone number to the e-mail address provided on the website. Then after a while I checked my e-mails. I’d received a reply from that very e-mail address. The e-mail asked me to send them a detailed resume and a thorough application so they could review my file. And that’s what I did. I got copies of all my personal documents and sent them to this company.”
Narration: A while later Hossein was contacted. He was told that his resume had been approved, and that he had to travel to Armenia for an interview. The man who contacted Hossein on behalf of the company introduced himself as “Siavash Miladi”.
INTERVIEW [Farsi], Hossein: “A very tall, very athletic, very strong man as the head of the company spoke to me. He introduced himself and said that he was the chief shareholder in the firm. And that his role was to meet with those who are to get hired and go through the course of recruitment. After that meeting, we met again the next day near my hotel. When I got to the lobby I saw him. I found out he wanted to give me a written psychology test. There were about 300 to 400 questions; questions concerning psychology. And I answered the questions I was asked to.”
Narration: After Hossein’s interview and psychology test, he was compensated for his trip costs.
INTERVIEW [Farsi], Hossein: “He claimed I would be paid back for the money I spent on this trip. I accepted and informed him about the three-million tomans I’d spent. And he gave me $1000. Right then, we agreed that I return to Iran and that he’d inform me about anything I had to know via e-mail and things I have to do in the future to see whether I can continue cooperating with the firm or not.”
Narration: A little later, Hossein received an email inviting him to Thailand.
INTERVIEW [Farsi], Hossein: “I received an e-mail that said: “You need to prepare your body, mind and physique for a test. You’ll have a one-month trip to Thailand. There you can apply for a visa. In the next e-mail you receive from us we will verify the hotel address and flight information.””
Reconstruction Clip from Hossein’s Departure to Thailand [Farsi]: “February 2, 2012 I flew to Bangkok.The flight took a few hours and I reached Bangkok. I went to my hotel. The next day he called me at my hotel room. He was eager to see me in person again. And well, it was important for me, too. I hadn’t seen him for a while and I wanted to communicate with him. I’d gotten him souvenirs. So I head towards him. We were supposed to meet up at a hotel restaurant. A cab they’d provided me drove me there. And so they took me to the hotel lobby. I was waiting there. I wanted to get an answer from him. I waited there a long time. He finally showed up. We saw each other there. I gave him his souvenir. He asked how I was doing in life in general. He said: “This phase is very important. This trip can guarantee your future.” He said: “I hope you pass all the phases successfully”; the phases of the recruitment process.”
TIME CODE: 30:00_35:00
Narration: The series of training courses began just a day after the meeting.
Second Reconstruction Clip from Hossein in Thailand [Farsi]: “He said: “Hossein I’m going to give you the first test; it’s an IQ test. I’m going to give you the address to an Iranian restaurant. First, find and study a map of Thailand in your hotel room. Tomorrow between 10 to 12 do all you need to do in your hotel room, then I’ll call you so we could meet up again.” And he said that he’d tell me what was going to happen next. I asked him what was going on. He said: “You have to go to a restaurant and identify somebody. He said: “You have to process the restaurant condition, who socializes there, who supervises the restaurant, what type of decoration it has inside, the food quality, the surveillance cameras and other security services.””
“He asked me what type of restaurant it was. I said: “It was a low scale restaurant. It was a local restaurant. It was an Iranian restaurant but the owner was Thai and her husband was Iranian. They were busy with economic activities. There weren’t many people there. I had a meal there. I asked the questions I was supposed to ask. I asked what they do there. She said that she was from Thailand, but her husband was Iranian. They provide food services here.” Then, he asked me how the environment was. I said: “Well, it was a closed rectangular space. They had a doorman, two surveillance cameras. That’s what the setting was like.” He said: “OK.” Then, he opened up his bag and showed me some pictures. He said: “Do you remember these pictures?” I said: “Yeah.” They were pictures of the restaurant I had gone to. He said: “Hossein, where was this photo frame?” I said: “Over there.” He said: “Where was the chair.” I said: “Over there.” He kept asking questions, interrogating me to see whether I’d gone there and if I had control over the environment. So he was convinced I’d gone there and I was giving him sufficient information.”
“I went back to the hotel and took care of some personal things. Then the next morning a driver picked me up and we set off to where we were supposed to go. On the way as we were passing the streets, we were somewhere I’d never been to before. We passed all the expressways. I kept looking around to figure out if I knew the place. And I was sure I’d never seen the place before. It was very far from my hotel. Then the driver’s cell phone rang. He spoke in English. I understood a little bit. He was told to pull over somewhere over there, drop me off and tell me to wait until the next car comes along to pick me up. So I got off the car on the street. Then a minute or two after the first car drove off, a black car came by and pulled the window down. It was Siavash Miladi the connection between me and the company. He said hello and asked me to open the car door and get in. That’s exactly what I did. I got in the car. The driver was some ordinary guy. He wasn’t Thai. They introduced Yoohaun who was sitting in the front seat. They said hello to me. They spoke Farsi, but very weak.”
“When the driver got off he opened the trunk. Miladi took out a bag; Youhaun took a bag out, too. “Alright, let’s go”, he said. We went into a building that looked like a lobby. There were two Thai ladies from Bangkok there. They gave him some card. It was an elevator card. They swiped the card, we got into the elevator and went to the last floor. We went into the hallway, he swiped the card again, and we entered.”
“Miladi said: “Don’t worry; you don’t have a problem with this, do you?” I said: “No”. He said: “Relax. He’ll just ask you a few questions. It’s a test he is in charge of. You’ll go to that room and he’ll talk to you and explain how the test works.””
“He took his stuff, opened the door a bit and waved his hand gesturing for me to go along. I noticed there is a desk, a chair, and a mini laptop, a few cable wires and another chair on the other side. And I was facing the wall. I couldn’t even see his face.”
“He said: “So, now’s the time for me to ask you the questions you are going to answer. Does anybody know you’re here for a job?” I said: “No. Why? Because you said so yourself in the last e-mail you sent me not to tell anyone. Then he says: “Do you mean you haven’t told anyone you’re here for a job?!” I said: “No!” He got up and looked at me like this. And said: “You’re lying.” I said: “If I wanted to lie to you, the lie detector would show you. Didn’t you say the lie detector works?” Then he said: “We’ll have to see about that. We will find out if you’re telling the truth or not.” Again he sat down and asked if I worked with the Sepah (IRGC). I said: “No, I wasn’t with the Sepah (IRGC).”
TIME CODE: 35:00_40:00
“And he said: “So you cooperated with the Sepah (IRGC). You cooperated with them for security purposes.” I said: “No I have nothing to do with Sepah (IRGC).” He said: “How about the MI6, have you cooperated with them? Have you received money from them to provide them services?” I said: “No. What in the world is MI6? I never worked with the MI6.” He said: “What about the CIA? You have worked with the CIA.” I said: “No, I haven’t worked for the CIA, either.” Then he got up. Turned his machine off and went out for 45 minutes. He said: “Enjoy yourself, watch TV.” So I did. He returned, came in again, and went through the same questions all over again. He said: “Before I test you is there anything you want to tell me? Have you been hiding something? I have a feeling you’re lying to me.” It meant, at that moment he was still not convinced that I was telling him the truth. He kept repeating the same questions over and over. “Do you work for any intelligence agency? Have you or have you not told any family member about this DTS Corporation recruitment? Have you or have you not given the firm’s site address to anybody? Have you coordinated with a ministry or a security organization?” I said: “No, it’s just me. I’ve come here looking for a job.” As he was going through the process walking in front of me and giving me these weird and dirty looks. He walked passed me and said: “Congratulations. You’re hired.” I said: “God! Was this a hiring procedure?! Asking questions about what agency I was with? Who’s this, who’s that?” I was surprised. So I got up. He said: “Write your name down, I’m going to inform Siavash Miladi that you’re a trustable person.” I said: “OK, let’s go.””
Narration: The most crucial training espionage agents provide their forces with is secure communication. The most common methods are using red windows, and encoding texts, photos and films that are to be transferred.
Third Reconstruction Clip from Hossein in Thailand [Farsi]: “He said: “What I’m about to teach you has more to it than just a laptop. You ought to control and memorize every bit of what I’m teaching you.” I said: “OK, what do you want me to do?” He said: “We have a flash drive, and with it we want to boot up Windows. How do we do that?” I said: “Well, you have to go to the settings, transfer files from the hard drive to the USB, and boot it up from the USB so Windows would run. If you don’t want the hard drive, use the USB, or you can use an external hard drive.” He said: “Fine, we don’t have an external hard drive; it’s just this flash drive. We want to connect it to the laptop and run Windows. A Windows file is on this flash drive.” I said: “OK.” So he showed me how to set the program up. He said: “You insert the Windows’ flash drive and Windows will run. You enter the password and get started.” In between the procedure he introduced a 2 GB flash drive that worked as a connection between that laptop and a Samsung cell phone. It was exactly a Samsung model. Yeah it was a Samsung. It was for when you run Windows. He said: “When you connect this 2 GB flash drive to the computer once or twice, its icon will pop up, and when you click on the icon, you can send your e-mail in Farsi or Latin. And when you’re done click send and the SD card will be booted up. Then put the SD card in your cell phone, and through a WiFi connection you can send us your message. And we will receive your message. We will read your message.””
“I felt and I knew I was being stalked. I couldn’t do as I wanted, go wherever I wanted and communicate with who I wanted. They told me to be comfortable but I had seen some things from them after my vacation I told him myself. There were some people following me. They even confronted me; I didn’t appreciate it at all.”
“In my hotel room in Bangkok, they were stalking me. The stuff I’d put in the drawer had been moved around. I’m very neat. I set everything neatly. I notice when something is not in its place; when it has been moved. I pay attention to everything. I’ve been secretly watched over. And I felt danger. But well I couldn’t cope with the circumstances. I either had to fight them or join them. And well, I was weak, I couldn’t fight them I had no choice but to join them.”
TIME CODE: 40:00_45:00
Narration: The justification Hossein had for cooperating with this hypothetical company was that some of the responsibilities he was to be given matched the job requirements he’d applied for. But gradually as the training courses completed, the demands on Hossein took a turn.
Fourth Reconstruction Clip from Hossein in Thailand [Farsi]: “Other than that, you could say everything else was normal. But then they showed me an anti-theft remote control. It was an anti-theft remote control but it was used for taping images and sounds. They told me how to use it. We were sitting at the table he took some pictures and showed them to me. He even gave it to me and told me to take pictures with it. I disagreed. I asked Siavash what the deal was with this thing. And why I had to take it with me. He said: “It’s no big deal; just a camera. And also if it were necessary we’ll ask you to make use of it for us.” I said: “What do you mean?! Do you want me to spy on somebody for you?” He said: “No.” I got sensitive. I said: “Look, the circumstances make me feel I’m being put in danger. Just the way I gave you my resume, information, passport, and personal documents I kindly ask you to show me some identification.” He suddenly changed the subject. He acted all angrily and aggressively. He wouldn’t let me enter that phase. He said: “Hossein, it’s up to you. You’ve come this far. It’s still up to you to continue. If you don’t want to be on board, go back to your hotel room and announce your resignation.” I said: “OK.” He said: “You only have till midnight.” And so through the method they’d taught me themselves, I was supposed to write my resignation so the officials could read it. And so I went back, thought about it and said: “Actually, with the given circumstances I can’t cooperate with you. I feel very uncomfortable and I don’t want to continue cooperating with you. Please allow me to leave. If I’ve imposed any expenses on you let me know and I’ll repay you via currency exchanges.””
“Then at nine o’clock in the morning he contacted me and he sounded excited. He said: “Hossein, how are you? Come on out, let’s see each other.” I asked if it was for business. He said: “No. Come on, I just want to see you at Starbucks, below Hilton Hotel in Pattaya, that’s where I am. I’m waiting for you.” I said: “OK.” I headed out. My phone kept ringing. He asked: “Where are you, Hossein?” I said: “I’m walking, I’m on my way. It’s close, I don’t want to get a cab and make the route longer.” I saw him sitting with Yoohaun. I sat down, too. He said: “How are you.” I took it easy. I thought he’s probably understood. He shouldn’t want to continue talking business with me. He didn’t have any reaction. He went back to the same situation as before talking about the things he needed me to do.He said “There are a few things I want us to do together. I don’t want you to do it alone” I asked what it was. He said:”Get Up, let’s go, and I‘ll explain.” We went to shopping mall .There was an emergency exit door .He said: “Yoohaun will stay with you. Stay right there with him. I’m going to enter and exit the hotel. I want to know if you can see me.” He went out of the hotel. He left and came back in again. Then Yoohaun asked: “Did you clearly see him?” I said “No! There’s a double-paned window before us. And we’re standing at the back .I can’t see .He said: “So, go closer.”I went closer. I noticed they’re working with me in group; because if they wanted me to act independently, I couldn’t. I really couldn’t .Since the night before; I’d started loathing the job, to be honest .He walked with me. He asked: “Is this OK?”I said: “I don’t know”. He said:” Then, go do your shopping .Take care of some tasks. And come back here.”I went shopping .i went back to him with some baggage. He said: “OK. Now, go out the door. And wait outside.”Then Miladi came by and said: “Did you see me clearly?” I said: “Yes!”He said: “We just took care of the cover story” I asked how. He said: “We did our shopping. And we’re waiting for a cab .At the same time we’re keeping an eye over there, too.”They told me: “You have to go to the restroom and put on something like a band aid on your head and hand. We are going to take you down to the pharmacy and take some pictures of you. So when you go back to Tehran, and if anybody asks you how you made money, and spent your time over there, you could say I rented a motorcycle, I was riding it on the street, an American drunk driver ran into me from behind. The cops came by and questioned him. To prevent them from dealing with him according to law, he took out a stash of dollars and gave some of it to the cops and some of it to me.” And so I was going to play along with it. I went to the rest room. They put the band aids on me. We went to the pharmacy. They took a few pictures.”
Narration: Hossein had to see further security training courses before he returned to Tehran.
TIME CODE: 45:00_49:00
Fifth Reconstruction Clip from Hossein in Thailand [Farsi]: “They told me: “A fish gets caught when it opens its mouth. You’re not to tell anyone about this. If you tell anybody anything about the things that went on here, and the things you saw from us, you can be sure it will be to your disadvantage. Be sure we will deal with you. You have to bury everything you saw here. Don’t tell a friend, not even the closest person to you. Whoever asks, you say I was there on vacation. Otherwise, if we find out you’ve said anything, or if you tell anyone about our faces or discussions, you can be sure we have people to track you down. And that’s what will happen, bottom line.””
“Then he told me: “We’ve provided you a bag. Half of your trip expense is in it. We placed it inside the bag itself. The Samsung cell phone is in it, too. With two micro-sticks that are Windows backups. One of the micro-sticks connects to the cell phone. It has to be with you. Let us know how you’re doing when you get to Tehran. And when you get to the airport, when your flight is approved, call us; inform us when you get there. And get rid of the phone right there. Throw it in the garbage can. Don’t take it with you.””
Narration: Hossein is just one of the many Iranians who had high hopes of getting hired at an international firm; but instead got caught in the claws of Israeli espionage. Various techniques come into force when western intelligence services intend to take advantage of individuals. However, according to Iran’s intelligence minister, there are ways to tell between a real and hypothetical firm.
INTERVIEW [Farsi], S. Mahmoud Alavi, Iran’s Intelligence Minister: “If individuals are cautious, they can easily notice such communications are not real, because they will be reluctant to give tangible evidence. They will make promises about the future. For instance, you will see our products in the future, and so on. For example, they’ll say in six months we’ll take you to the exhibition so you could see our products, the assembled parts, the samples. They will never present anything on the spot. And that shows they want to, in the course of time, gradually prepare them for services. And then, after say four months, they might notice this is a service, they’ll corrupt the individual.”
Narration: Direct and indirect information warfare continues on Iran. Information warfare is carried out by espionage agencies; most prominently, Mossad. A lot has been invested to sabotage Iran’s nuclear activities and assassinate Iranian scientists. Peaceful nuclear activities are the main target of such warfare. But according to Iran, the sabotage commanders and masterminds have not gained much.
INTERVIEW [Farsi], Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi, Head, Iran’s Atomic Energy Org.: “Since 2009, not only has our nuclear industry not been suspended, or gotten slower; it has even gotten faster. Within this time span some 20,000 centrifuges were built. Right now, 10,000 centrifuges are working. And we have another 10,000 centrifuges installed.”