According to a report by Telegraph, is secretly funding militant ethnic separatist groups in in an attempt to pile pressure on the Islamic Republic to give up its nuclear program.
In the past year there has been a wave of unrest in ethnic minority border areas of , with bombing and assassination campaigns against soldiers and government officials.
Such incidents have been carried out by the Kurds in the west, the Azeris in the northwest, the Ahwazi Arabs in the southwest, and the Baluchis in the southeast. Most Baluchis live over the border in .
Although Washington officially denies involvement in such activity, Teheran has long said to detect the hand of both and in attacks by guerrilla groups on its internal security forces. Last Monday, publicly hanged a man, Nasrollah Shanbe Zehi, for his involvement in a bomb attack that killed 11 Revolutionary Guards in the city of Zahedan in Sistan-Baluchistan.
An unnamed local official told the semi-official Fars news agency that weapons used in the attack were British and U.S.-made. John Pike, the head of the influential Global Security think tank in Washington , said: "The activities of the ethnic groups have hotted up over the last two years and it would be a scandal if that was not at least in part the result of CIA activity."
The Baluchistan-based Brigade of God group, which last year kidnapped and killed eight Iranian soldiers, is a volatile Sunni organization that many fear could easily turn against Washington after taking its money.
A row has also broken out in Washington over whether to "unleash" the military wing of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), an Iraq-based Iranian opposition group with a long and bloody history of armed opposition to the Iranian government.
The group is currently listed by the U.S. State Department as terrorist organization, but Mr. Pike said: "A faction in the Defense Department wants to unleash them. They could never overthrow the current Iranian government but they might cause a lot of damage."
Telegraph, February 25, 2007