A man described by Iran's state-run Press TV as a U.S. spy with a decade of training made a very public "confession" on Sunday, describing in a live broadcast how he planned to feed information to authorities there in order to win confidence. But so far the United States hasn't commented on the identity of Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, identified in the broadcast as an Arizona-born Army veteran of Iranian descent. Agence France-Press described him as speaking both English and Farsi, and wearing both a U.S. Army uniform and traditional Muslim garb in the broadcast. It also related Press TV's description of his career, which included a stint at a video game company the broadcaster said was in the business of making propaganda for the C.I.A.
Sunday's television report said Hekmati had worked for the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) between 2005 and 2007.
It said he then moved to a computer games company called Kuma Games specialising in shoot-'em-up entertainment that it alleged was really funded by the CIA to develop games aimed at swaying public opinion.
Hekmati then reportedly was sent to another company, Cubic, said to carry out intelligence work, and then to Britain's defence group BAE Systems.
In the broadcast, Hekmati said he flew into Iran from Dubai after working in an intelligence center at Bagram air base in Afghanistan, where he was given information to sell to the Iranians. "He delivered his statements in a normal tone with little emotion and did not appear to be reading from a script," AFP reported. That right there should throw some suspicion on Iran's claim, because it seems pretty unlikely you'd be able to maintain an emotionless tone while confessing to spying on national television in a hostile country. But maybe that's just us.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.