Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence (MoI) has identified the alleged US spy detained by the agency as an Iranian-American named Amir Mirzaie Hekmati. The official press agencies IRNA and Fars reported that Mr. Mirzaie Hekmati has confessed to spying for the US and his alleged confession has been aired by Iran’s state-owned broadcasting system.
Mr. Mirzaie Hekmati is alleged to have worked for the CIA, with previous experience as an analyst attached to a US military intelligence unit. The MOI claims that the suspect was tasked by the CIA with infiltrating the Iranian intelligence apparatus.
Mr. Mizaie Hekmati is reportedly born in Arizona to Iranian-American parents. Upon graduation from high school in 2001, he joined the US military and served in Iraq with the military intelligence. After leaving the military, he reportedly worked as an intelligence analyst for DARPA and private defense contractors identified as Kuma Games and BAE Systems. During the alleged confession, the suspect claims that he was recruited by the CIA as an analyst in 2009 after passing lie detector and psychological tests. In a meeting at a Washington hotel with a CIA operative, Mr. Mirzaie Hekmati is asked to travel to Iran on what was described to him as an important mission.
Mr. Mirzaie Hekmati said in his confession that upon arriving in Iran he was to act as a source for the MoI, feeding them intelligence that had been given to him by the CIA, and after a three-week stay and accepting money from the MoI he was to leave the country.
To get prepared for the mission, Mr. Mirzaie Hekmati is first sent to the US base in Bagram, Afghanistan. He then goes to Dubai and from there he flies to Tehran. The suspect said he was to provide the Iranians with correct intelligence to gain their trust so they would maintain long-term relations with him. He said that the MOI suspected that the intelligence he had provided them were non-critical and his mission was discovered.