Announcement may be an effort to discredit anti-government protests.
By World Israel News Staff
Iran’s Intelligence Ministry announced on Tuesday the arrest of what it called a network of agents working for the Israeli Mossad trying to enter the country.
The ministry claimed a large amount of weapons, including pistols, grenades, rifles, shotguns and ammunition, were intended for assassinations, sabotage and to provoke violence.
The arrests come amidst nearly three weeks of anti-government protests against widespread shortages of water and electricity. The country has faced rolling blackouts for weeks now, in part over what authorities describe as a severe drought. Precipitation had decreased by almost 50 percent in the last year, leaving dams with dwindling water supplies.
At least 10 Iranians have been killed by security forces who used live ammunition; dissident groups say the casualty count is higher. The demonstrations, which began in Iran’s western provinces, have spread to Tehran on Monday, where protesters were filmed chanting “death to the dictator” before peacefully dispersing.
For the first time since the 2019 fuel protest, protests have broken out today in Tehran:
Demonstrators shout "Death to the dictator" and also "shells, tanks, firecrackers,
Akhund (a derogatory nickname for Shiite Iranian clerics) should go to hell". pic.twitter.com/1kgpmkcaLC
— Yossi Mansharof (@Yossi_Mansharof) July 26, 2021
Authorities didn’t specify the number of people arrested, or from which country they tried to enter. The lack of information suggested to some that the announcement was an attempt by authorities to discredit the protesters and distract the public from the water and power shortages.
Officials in Jerusalem didn’t comment on Monday’s announcement.
Associated Press contributed to this report.