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Iran arrests 10 suspects who worked as accomplices for ‘hostile countries’

Language employed by state news agency to describe countries involved is often used in reference to arch-enemy Israel, US; arrests take place near Iran’s sole nuclear power plant

Illustrative: A supporter of Iranian presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi walks next to his posters during an election campaign rally in the capital Tehran, on June 10, 2021. (STR / AFP)
Illustrative: A supporter of Iranian presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi walks next to his posters during an election campaign rally in the capital Tehran, on June 10, 2021. (STR / AFP)

Iran has arrested 10 people in a southern province it says are linked to foreign intelligence services, the official IRNA news agency reported Tuesday.

The report said Iran’s intelligence agency arrested the 10 after “sophisticated and continuous” surveillance in Bushehr province. It didn’t name the countries the suspects were linked to.

The 10 worked for “regional” countries whose intelligence services acted as accomplices and proxies for the spy agencies of “hostile countries,” the news agency reported, a reference to Iran’s arch-enemy Israel and the US. The report said the 10 people were Iranian expatriates in the regional countries.

Bushehr is home to Iran’s sole nuclear power plant that went online in 2011 with help from Russia. In July, Iran said authorities arrested members of a group linked to Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency amid ongoing protests over water shortages in the country’s southwest.

In 2019, Iran said it arrested 17 Iranians accused of spying on the country’s nuclear and military sites for the CIA and reported that some of them had been sentenced to death.

Iran occasionally announces the detention of people it says are spying for foreign countries, including the United States and Israel. Israel has yet to confirm such arrests.

In July 2020, Iran executed a former translator convicted of spying on its forces for the US and Israel, including helping to locate a top Iranian general who was killed later in a US drone strike.

In February 2020, Iran’s top court confirmed a death sentence for an Iranian man convicted of spying for the CIA, with state media alleging that he had shared details of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program with the American spy agency.

Late last year, Iran released Australian-British academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who was serving a 10-year prison sentence for spying for Israel, in exchange for three Iranians.

In 2019, Iran said it arrested 17 Iranians accused of spying on the country’s nuclear and military sites for the CIA and reported that some of them had been sentenced to death.

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