## Monday, January 21, 2013

### Slovak CIA spy caught in Iran

Communicating scientific secrets? Hunter in trap

Four days ago, TV viewers in Iran could have seen this dramatic 20-minute James-Bond-like report (that partly resembles the Czechoslovak communist sitcom, Thirty Cases of Major Zeman):

The hero of this video is Mr Matej Valúch, a 25-year-old Slovak recruitment and international management expert, the kind of guy who connects with everyone and who is apparently very good at it, as his LinkedIn page (and a similar Slovak page) testifies.

In Slovakia, he has been unaccounted for since September 2012. You may also see that he is a marathon runner, with 3:14:02 as his best time I can find.

His Iranian friends caught him and forced the obviously relaxed, happy Slovak guy to say (confess?) that he came to Iran in 2008 – if my Farsi is good enough ;-) – and was later contacted by CIA agent whose name I don't want to reveal so that Steve Logano doesn't have some extra trouble. ;-)

Valúch says that he was sending Logano some secret information about the Iranian science – probably nuclear physics. The Iranian TV suggests that because of their success with Mr Valúch, they managed to catch several other U.S. agents, too.

This blonde guy describes his task to be meeting Iranian scientists and communicate the latest successes of the Iranian science to his American overlords. Well, to a large extent, it seems as some amusing Iranian official propaganda addressed to not too demanding viewers. Iran is so great that America has to work hard to catch up with the amazing progress over there! ;-) First, Iran has successes but in most of them, America is well ahead of the country modernized by the Shah and these advances aren't dangerous or important in any way. And some possible exceptions are surely monitored in more reliable ways.

Second, I find it extremely hard to imagine that this guy who doesn't really have any scientific or technological background – as far as I can see – would know how to ask about relevant questions, choose the important issues, and meaningfully communicate the answers to his bosses in the U.S. Don't get me wrong: I am not suggesting he wasn't hired by CIA. I just think that if it has been the case, CIA was very careful to give him tasks that wouldn't require any technical knowledge whatsoever such as "pick papers XY" or "ask UV to call ABC". ;-) If CIA has equipped this "soft communication occupation" guy with some secret enough information, then I must say that they have deeply screwed it!

Equally likely, it seems plausible to me that this whole story about the hot Iranian scientific breakthroughs and the lame and futile U.S. attempts to steal them :-) is fabricated and Matej Valúch was simply hired (and nicely paid, as his satisfied face suggests) by the Iranian government to be the main actor in this theater and he has never been in touch with any CIA agents.

What do you think?

Other news from Slovakia:

The second largest city of Slovakia, Košice, became one of the two 2013 European capitals of culture. The opening ceremony took place yesterday – more than 40,000 people attended it (the population is 240,000). An ex-GF of mine was from the city.

The differences between Czechia and Slovakia and the national character of the nations etc. are surely detectable but don't be mistaken, the proximity is still dominant. There are so many constants: some Gothic cathedrals, passionate ice-hockey fans, Pilsner Urquell as the right beer at 1:22 ;-), no Golden Pheasants, despite their great ads.