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Iran state TV airs "confession" of detained CIA spy

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian state television on Sunday aired what it described as the confession of an Iranian man detained for spying for the CIA.

State television broadcast a taped interview with Amir Mirza Hekmati, in which he said he had received training by the U.S. intelligence services. The channel said he had been sent to Iran to provide misinformation to Iranian intelligence.

Iran's Intelligence Ministry said Saturday it had captured a CIA spy of Iranian origin who had received training in the U.S. Army's intelligence units and spent time at U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.

State television showed Hekmati seated, wearing an open-necked shirt.

"They (U.S. agents) told me, 'If you are successful at this mission we can train you further, we can give you other missions ... This mission requires that you travel to Iran,'" he said, appearing calm.

In a video with a voice-over in the channel's main news bulletin, pictures of Hekmati were shown in what seemed to be U.S. military bases.

"I was in a spying center in Bagram (a major U.S. base in Afghanistan) ... I went to Dubai and then ... I flew to Tehran," Hekmati said, without mentioning the date.

"They told me, 'You will become a source of military and intelligence information for the Iranians for three weeks and we will give you money for this and then you will return.'"

Iran's state television has in the past broadcast confessions from those accused of threatening state security.

In May, Tehran announced the arrest of a network of 30 CIA-backed spies involved in sabotage and espionage.

Tuesday 15 people were indicted for spying for Washington and Israel. Under Iran's Islamic law, espionage can be punishable by death.

(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Peter Graff)

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