US virtual embassy a trap: Iranian minister

Updated: 2011-12-12 11:22


  Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

TEHRAN - Iran's Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi said Sunday that the launch of a virtual embassy for Iranians by the United States is a trap for espionage, the local satellite Press TV reported.

"Those who might be deceived by the website of this virtual embassy must be warned that this (initiative) is a form of bait to entrap them for spying," Moslehi was quoted as saying.

Moslehi said the website follows the same line as the former US embassy in Iran, adding that an embassy can only be established with the approval of both countries involved.

The opening of an embassy has different stages and what the United States proposes as a virtual embassy is invalid, he added.

In October, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the United States was planning to launch a virtual embassy for Iranians by the end of this year, which would provide them with online access to US visa and education information.

On Tuesday, the US State Department "opened" the virtual embassy, a web-based tool that Clinton described as "a platform for us to communicate with each other -- openly and without fear -- about the United States, about our policies, our culture, and the American people."

Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Wednesday that the launch of the virtual embassy is an indication of US confession to the wrong decision it made to sever ties with Iran three decades ago.

The Iranian local media reported on Wednesday that Iran blocked the virtual embassy website shortly after it officially started working on Tuesday.

The White House on Wednesday condemned the Iranian government for its blockage of the virtual embassy.

The United States broke off diplomatic relations with Iran in 1980 after a group of Iranian students seized the US embassy and captured some 60 US diplomats in 1979, with 52 of them held captive for 444 days in the hostage crisis.