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.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Paul Whelan, the former U.S. Marine held in Moscow on spying charges, had online contact with more than 20 Russians with military backgrounds, an analysis of social media shows.
Russian men with military education or a history of military service make up nearly half of Whelan's more than 50 friends on VK, a popular Russian social network that resembles Facebook, the analysis by Reuters shows.