RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia said Monday its security forces uncovered a “terrorist cell” with alleged ties to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and have detained 10 people in connection.
A statement issued by the Presidency of State Security, which is overseen by the king and crown prince, said three of those detained had received training in Iran by the paramilitary group in October 2017 on manufacturing explosives.
The cell was broken up by security forces on September 23, with weapons such as sniper rifles and pistols confiscated at two locations, the security agency said.
The security body did not provide much further detail or evidence regarding the alleged cell, like which Saudi cities they were arrested in. The statement said the identities of those detained have not been revealed because an investigation is still ongoing.
Sunni-led Saudi Arabia and Shiite-ruled Iran are longtime rivals, though tensions have steadily increased in recent years between the powerhouse Persian Gulf countries, particularly since the Trump administration began reimposing sanctions on Iran that effectively block it from selling its oil internationally.
Saudi Arabia has blamed Iran of being behind attacks on Saudi oil targets last year, including a missile and drone strike on Aramco’s largest crude oil processing plant in the eastern part of the kingdom.
Yemeni rebel Houthis claimed responsibility for that attack and Iran has denied involvement. A UN probe concluded the missiles were of Iranian origin.
The Saudis also accuse Iran of interfering in Yemen by backing the Houthis when they ousted the internationally-backed government from the capital in late 2014, prompting the Saudi-led war there.
This month, neighboring Bahrain said it broke up a plot by militants backed by Iran earlier this year to launch attacks on diplomats and foreigners in the island nation home to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet.