(LATIMES) — His disguise consists of a blue surgeon’s mask, sunglasses and a baseball cap that reads “Free Iran.” A small modulator distorts his voice. He uses a pseudonym, Reza Kahlili.

He lives in fear, he says, because his years as a paid spy for the CIA inside Iran have made him an assassination target of Iran’s government. He worries about his wife and children, who live with him in California.

At the same time, implausibly, he has become one of the most influential and outspoken voices in the U.S. advocating the overthrow of the Iranian government.

For the last two years, Kahlili has gone semipublic with a memoir, a blog, op-ed pieces and invitation-only speeches at think tanks. He warns that Iran operates terrorist sleeper cells inside the United States and is determined to build nuclear weapons to destroy Israel. The U.S. should respond, he argues, by supporting the opposition inside Iran.

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