17 August 2007

Perfidious Albion and the Iranian Squirrel Spies?

Another story in the Strange Days section of the new Fortean Times concerned the recent arrest by Iranian intelligence operatives of over a dozen squirrels found within the nation's borders. According to Iranian security, the rodents were serving as spies for Western powers determined to undermine the Islamic Republic. It’s another story I missed first time around.

"In recent weeks, intelligence operatives have arrested 14 squirrels within Iran's borders," state-sponsored news agency IRNA reported. "The squirrels were carrying spy gear of foreign agencies, and were stopped before they could act, thanks to the alertness of our intelligence
services." Iranian police commander Esmaeil Ahmadi-Moqadam confirmed the report, saying that a number of squirrels had been caught bearing foreign spy gear within Iran's borders. "I heard of this but I have no specific knowledge on the subject," he said. He refused to give further details.

The reaction to the report on Tehran’s streets was varied – from disbelief to assigning guilt for the alleged infraction. “No, I had not heard about this, but it does not surprise me, foreign countries are always meddling in Iran,” said Hassan Mohmmadi, a fast-food vendor. Mohammadi asked me if I knew where the squirrels were from, and I told him that I didn’t know. Then he came to his own conclusions. “I bet they were British squirrels, they are the most cunning,” he replied. Meanwhile, an independent journalist, Sepher Sopli, said “I read this story in the papers and though it was very bizarre; what struck me as odd was that in this age of modern technology, people were relying on squirrels to do their spying,”

Well that’s what was reported but there seems to be no trace in the Iranian press. Iranians have a long tradition of blaming the UK (and for good cause in some cases) for most bad things that happen in their nation so the finger of suspicion would probably point our way. On the other hand why is my bullshit detector shrieking an alarm over this story... perhaps our moles were ineffectual


beakerkin said...

I bet the Iranians have their own Moroccan Moles ready for revenge.

jams o donnell said...

If they haven't hanged them as American spies already...