Iran Makes New Arrests in Spying Case, Prosecutor Claims

Tehran’s prosecutor says Iranian security forces have identified and arrested several people in connection with a spying case, Press TV reports.

“These people were gathering classified information on strategic fields under the cover of scientific and environmental projects,” Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi told reporters on Saturday.

Separately on Sunday, Hossein Taeb, the head of the intelligence unit of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), warned that the enemy is sponsoring new groups to spark insecurity in the region.

The Islamic Republic’s “dominance over Daesh and other regional and extra-regional terrorist groups has led the enemy to consider creating new outfits to cause insecurity,” he said on the sidelines of the nationwide rally to mark the 39th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

Taeb also noted that in recent riots in some Iranian cities, “notorious groups led by the Iranian nation’s main enemies took advantage of people’s rightful economic demands and tried to manipulate them through creating insecurity.”

“Of course, their measures will not go unanswered and they will be slapped in the face at the right time,” he told Tasnim news agency.

In late December 2017, people in several Iranian cities held peaceful gatherings to criticize the country’s economic issues. Those rallies were, however, marred by scattered riots, which saw vandals and armed elements launch attacks on public property, mosques and police stations.

Upon the outbreak of violence, the original protesters responded to calls by authorities and left the streets, paving the way for law enforcement forces, backed by locals, to intervene. Iranian people also held mass rallies to express their faith in the Islamic establishment and condemn the chaos as efforts were underway by security officials to end the riots.

Ayatollah Khamenei hails the Iranian people’s vigilance vis-à-vis enemy plots to stoke unrest in the country, which they demonstrated through days of pro-establishment rallies.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said a “triangle” of enemies — with the United States and Israel comprising one of its sides, a rich Persian Gulf littoral state on its second side and the anti-Iran Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) terror organization on the third side — had been plotting for the past few months to foment chaos and violence in Iran. The Iranian people, however, distanced themselves from rioters after finding out their motives, Ayatollah Khamenei added.

Iran occasionally announces the detention and conviction of people on espionage charges for foreign countries, particularly the U.S. and Israel. It was long under sanctions by the West over its nuclear program.

Iran’s security guards had previously arrested a suspect attempting to forcefully enter in the presidential palace, located in Tehran. Tasnim reported that the suspect was trying to enter the gates of the presidential palace, carrying a gun in his hand, when the security guards warned him.

“The person who had a weapon in hand tried to pass through the gates of the presidential palace; he was given a warning by the guards of the presidential palace. The suspect was then wounded when the security guards shot him in the leg … We are trying to determine his identity and investigate the motives behind it,” Mohsin Hamadani, deputy head of security department of Tehran told Tasnim News.