ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Iran has as many as 40,000 spies from its Revolutionary Guards operating in many Arab nations in the Persian Gulf, a former agent claims.
A person claiming to be a former spy for the Revolutionary Guard Corp said there are as many as 40,000 spies from Iran operating in the Persian Gulf. About 3,000 of them are operating in Kuwait.
In an interview with al-Arabiya, the alleged spy said cells work in groups of five with neither team aware of the other's existence or mission.
He went on to describe several agents as paid for brief service, while others are full-time staffers with the elite branch of the Iranian military.
He claimed in his interview to have begun spying for Iran toward the end of the brutal eight-year conflict with Iraq that ended in 1988.
The main mission for the agent was to monitor the activity of Iranian opposition leaders operating in the Gulf region and report back to authorities in Tehran.
"I was deceived in the beginning by slogans that the Islamic republic of Iran was defending Islam," he said of his service.
He went on to claim Iranian authorities kept him under surveillance for around five years following his discharge from service. He later fled to another country.