A man detained in Iran on suspicion of spying for the U.S. claims he worked for Kuma Games.
If the story Amir Mirza-Hekmati told on Iranian national television on Sunday is true, then he has led a crazy life worthy of an action movie starring Kal Penn. Iranian officials announced Mirza-Hekmati’s arrest on December 7th and yesterday published excerpts from his “confession” in the Tehran Times.
Amir Mirza-Hekmati was born in Arizona before moving to live near Detroit, Michigan, and, after finishing high school there, he joined the U.S. army. Because of his heritage and ability to speak Farsi, his commanding officers asked that he learn Arabic. Mirza-Hekmati then went to Iraq in an Army uniform but worked as an intelligence analyst before eventually he was recruited by DARPA – the main military research branch of the U.S. armed forces. After that, he was hired to work at Kuma Games in New York City, which Mirza-Hekmati alleges receives money from U.S. to sway public opinion against Islamic countries.
“I went to Kuma Games Company,” Mirza-Hekmati said. “This computer company was receiving money from the CIA to [produce] and design and distribute for free special movies and games with the aim of manipulating public opinion in the Middle East. The goal of the company in question was to convince the people of Iran and the people of the entire world that whatever the U.S. does in other countries is a good measure.”
Kuma Games has made a few games which bleed into the politcal sphere, such as a recreation of the missions that ended in the death of Osama Bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi in their free downloadable game Kuma/War, but the company also produces titles like Street Soccer and branded work for television networks like Mobsters (Bio.) and I.Predator (Animal Planet). In 2006, Kuma executives admitted to doing contract work for the U.S. government, but never once stated that they are, in fact, supported through CIA money.
Mirza-Hekmati’s father denies that his son was ever a spy for the CIA, and that he was visiting family when he was detained in Iran. “He is not a spy. It’s a whole bunch of lies on my good son,” said Ali Hekmati, a professor from Flint, Michigan. “They have lied about any American … captured in Iran for visiting or tourism, or for any other reason.”
The CIA, the U.S. government and Kuma Games have all declined to comment on Mirza-Hekmati’s statements, but clearly there is some high-level spy work going on here. I think we need to send in James Bond or Jack Bauer to rescue Mirza-Hekmati and clear Kuma Games good name.