A volunteer holds a Sand Lizard prior to its release into the wild in sand dunes near Talacre, north Wales September 10, 2013. The lizard, one of Britain's rarest species of reptile is being released along with 400 others at seven sites across England and Wales this week as part of a long term conse.
(photo credit: PHIL NOBLE/REUTERS)
Is it possible that Western espionage agencies used lizards to try to unearth Iranian nuclear secrets?
Former chief-of-staff of the Iranian army Hassan Firuzabadi seems to believe so, AFP reports.
While answering various questions about the recent wave of arrests of environmental activists in Iran, Firuzabadi said that the West has a history of using tourists, nature lovers and pro-environment activists as spies.
The former army chief told the reformist ILNA news agency that, in the past, some people posing as pro-Palestinian activists chose odd traveling routes while they were working in Iran.
The Iranian security forces found "a variety of reptile desert species like lizards, chameleons..." in their luggage, he explained.
Firuzabadi suggested that the skin of the reptiles "attracts atomic waves," providing information about where in Iran uranium mines are located and what sort of work is done in them - provided the routes the lizard-owners had taken happens to be close to such sites.
Iranian-Canadian professor Kavous Seyed Emami died in Iranian prison on February 10 after he was arrested on January 24 alongside other members of the NGO he created called the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation.
Iranian officials claim he committed suicide, wrote his son on social media, who then added that he does not believe the claim.
Deputy Head of the Iranian Environmental Protection Agency Kaveh Madani was also arrested for a brief period and later released.
While answering questions on the radio, Firuzabadi was adamant that these lizard wielding spies of the West failed "every time."