Iran President Hassan Rouhani (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
They seemed an unlikely pair of spies.
The older man, Majid Ghorbani, worked at a posh Persian restaurant in Santa Ana's South Coast Village Plaza. At 59, he wore a thick gray mustache and the weary expression of a man who had served up countless plates of rice and kebab.
The younger man, Ahmadreza Mohammadi Doostdar, was a Long Beach native who held dual U.S.-Iranian citizenship. Round-faced and bespectacled, the 38-year-old answered to the Farsi nickname "Topol," or "Chubby."
Yet even as the men sipped coffee at a Costa Mesa Starbucks, chatted outside an Irvine market, or made trips to Macy's at South Coast Plaza, they were doggedly trailed by federal agents.
The Department of Justice announced it had arrested and charged a Chinese intelligence officer with economic espionage and theft of trade secrets from U.S. aviation and aerospace companies, according to a news release.
White House officials have been calling their friends at The Washington Post to let them know Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats "has gone rogue" over comments he made at the Aspen Security Forum on Thursday.