Iran tips hand about structure of secret services

Iran has for the first time provided public information about the structure of its secret services, saying Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi heads a coordination council overseeing 16 different agencies.

The announcement Wednesday, in a magazine published by the Intelligence Ministry, comes on the 30th anniversary of a merger of several intelligence organizations to create the ministry.

The ministry has its own website, and has set up a three-digit phone number for Iranians to call in tips. In recent years, it has published advertisements and set up billboards in many cities encouraging citizens to help the spy agency.

Iran's intelligence apparatus was known as SAVAK until the 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the pro-U.S. Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and installed clerics in power.