Iran: We arrested network of Israeli Mossad agents, seized weapons intended for assassinations

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.

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.

Iran blames Israel for mysterious accidents at a number of nuclear facilities and for assassinating nuclear mastermind Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Officials in Jerusalem didn’t comment on Monday’s announcement.

Associated Press contributed to this report.