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Lizards with the ability to “attract atomic waves” were reportedly used by Western spies to gain intelligence on Iran’s nuclear program, a high-ranking Tehran official has claimed.

Hassan Firuzabadi, senior military advisor to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told local media on Tuesday that he became aware of the special reptiles “several years ago.”

In remarks that were widely picked up by international media outlets, Firuzabadi referred to one case involving foreigners who were in the Islamic Republic on an aid mission.

They possessed lizards and chameleons whose skin attracted atomic waves, he said, adding that the foreigners were “nuclear spies” who wanted information on Tehran’suranium mines and atomic activities.

Firuzabadi also said Western spy agencies had “failed every time,” suggesting that the energy-sensitive lizards did not succeed in their mission.