Iran’s minister of intelligence has said the ministry has ISIL and its activities ‘under its intelligence umbrella.’
Hujjatoleslam Mahmoud Alavi, who was speaking in a press conference, titled ’30 Years of Tacit Warriorship,’ on Tuesday on the occasion of 30th anniversary of establishment of the Ministry of Intelligence, marked the beginning of 4th decade of the ministry’s activity. “This is our first press conference and it will not be the last one, and there will be other meetings,” he told the press. “We have an intelligence team of 76 million people; we regard you, the press, as our eyes and ears; we recognize you as voice of the people; you are responsible to channel useful information to us as the authorities,” the minister emphasized.
Asked about the security threats posed by ISIL and ministry’s surveillance of the group’s possible activities inside the borders, Alavi said that “the fact that they are outside our borders would not rule out the necessity we should watch their activities closely; however currently they are busy with Iraq and Syria as their main target, they pose a threat to our national interests as well, and our intelligence apparatus would inevitably respond to these groups,” he told the press.
Alavi also said that the ministry had predicted what would happen in advance in Iraq, and that they cooperated and exchanged information with intelligence system of countries challenging the ISIL; “our predictions helped necessary actions against the group; otherwise, the situation in Iraq and Syria could have been totally different,” the minister maintained.
“We have ISIL and related threats under our intelligence umbrella; whenever we perceive threat to our security, or some groups seek to use their mercenaries inside the country, we would react; as we have captured their affiliated agents,” Alavi assured the press.
The minister also pointed out that intelligence services Mossad, MI6 and CIA had adopted a path of violence in Iran. “They seek negative objectives inside Iran; they would avoid direct involvement, or work with other services as proxies, or in cyberspace, they would trap individuals as their potential agents,” Alavi said.
He cited defense industry, missile and other advanced technologies as venues where the enemies would seek to elicit sensitive information. “They use this information for sabotage operations in hard and software; our sufficient training to the staff has managed to identify the enemy from home,” Alavi added.
In response to a question about extremist Sunni and Shia groups’ activities seeking to sow discord among the Islamic denominations, and the ministry’s possible reaction, Alavi said that “we detected a network providing financial support to these groups in the guise of religious tax such as khums; we closed some satellite TVs which were acting in line with goals orchestrated by British intelligence agencies to cut their spewing religious hatred on air for large multitudes of audience.”
Alavi also ensured Iranian investors based on foreign countries that Iran was secure enough for them to come to their home country and to invest in the economy; “the intelligence system has worked to facilitate and help Iranian elites and entrepreneurs enter Iran; this is for the interest of our society; only those with critical crimes would find it difficult to enter Iran, other individuals have regularly frequented Iran, which welcomes them with open bosom,” said the minister.