Iran and the Spy Lizards

Iran and the Spy Lizards

According to Hassan Firuzabadi, senior military advisor to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the United States used lizards to spy on Iran’s nuclear activities. The lizards’ skin, Firuzabadi said, was capable of attracting atomic waves. But, he added, the effort failed.

These accusations come shortly after the “prison suicide” of Canadian-Iranian environmentalist and professor Kavous Seyed Emami. The notion that one could hang oneself in a prison stringent enough to remove even one’s shoelaces is questionable.

It’s unclear how or why Iranian officials arrived at espionage via reptile as their weightiest accusation against the West. In the first place, “atomic waves” don’t exist. Firuzabadi might have been refering to the gamma radiation, which would be emitted while mining Uranium.  Regardless, lizard skin is not capable of absorbing measurable quantities of Uranium. Or, really, much else. Lizard skin, like human skin, is made primarily of keratin. Lizard scutes (or scales) are composed of keratin A or keratin B, neither of which is capable of “attracting atomic waves.”

This is not the first time the West has been accused of espionage via the animal kingdom. Previously, Israel has been accused of using dolphins, griffon vultures, various small birds, an eagle, and sharks to spy on various Middle Eastern groups and countries.

The Times of Israel quotes Firuzabadi as saying, “Several years ago, some individuals came to Iran to collect aid for Palestine...In their possessions were a variety of reptile desert species...We found that their skin attracts atomic waves and that they were nuclear spies.”

Likely, these most recent accusations are due to growing tensions between the U.S. and Iran over Iranian nuclear activity. Though Trump has provided an abundance of strong rhetoric, he did choose to extend the nuclear deal again, with the condition that Congress must “strengthen” it. I doubt the President had lizards in mind when making these caveats.

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