Iran claims arrest of 10 spies linked to foreign intelligence services

Suspects said to be Iranian expats collecting info on “sensitive centers.”

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry announced on Tuesday the arrest of 10 spies it claims are linked to foreign intelligence services.

Associated Press, citing Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency, reported that the 10 were Iranian expatriates working for unspecified “regional” countries. According to the Intelligence Ministry, the spies allegedly sought to collect information on “sensitive centers” in the Islamic Republic.

Iran didn’t specify which foreign intelligence service or services it was associating the spies with.

IRNA’s report said they were arrested in the Bushehr province, which is along the Persian Gulf. That province is home to Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor. Iran began work on a second reactor at the facility in 2019.

In July, the Russian-built reactor had an emergency shutdown that required three to four days of repairs. Officials said the shutdown was necessitated by a technical problem in an electrical generator. But persistent accidents and explosions at Iranian industrial and energy facilities and other infrastructure, it was widely believed the Iranians were covering up an act of Israeli sabotage.

The announcement comes in the wake of a provocative Iranian war exercise along its border with Azerbaijan. Tehran claims that Azerbaijan allows Israeli personnel to operate on the border, an allegation denied by the Azeri government.

Iran occasionally announces the detention of people it says are spying for foreign countries, including the United States, Israel and other Western states.

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Associated Press contributed to this report.