“Britain which has a long record of infiltration and starting networks and streams in different countries aimed to implement a project to create a cultural network” in Iran by means of the British Council which included a number of elites and activists in education and cultural fields, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
It added that the project was from the very first day on the Iranian intelligence forces’ radar whose timely measures prevented the materialization of the British objective to create networks and influence the country in the training areas.
“As the respectable judiciary spokesman has declared in the past, any cooperation with the British Council is banned and will be prosecuted judicially,” the statement said.
The British Council describes itself as the United Kingdom’s “international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities.”
But to many in the international community, the British Council is merely viewed as a tool of British foreign policy.
According to its website, the British Council is not “physically present” in Iran, but one of its employees has been convicted and jailed in Iran for espionage.
Founded as a charity governed by Royal Charter, the British Council is extensively supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), a connection that it has never tried to hide.
The Council admits that 15 percent of its budget is provided by the FCO, whilst 85 percent of its turnover comes from “teaching,” “exams,” “tendered contracts” and “partnerships.”
It has long been suspected that British Council facilities and programs abroad are used as talent spotting and recruitment tools for the Secret Intelligence Service, better known as MI6.