In a statement, the ministry said while the country’s law enforcement units were busy responding to unrest in several Iranian cities for days, intelligence forces focused their mission mainly on identifying the masterminds operating behind the scenes, including foreign governments and foreign-sponsored counter-revolutionary terror groups such as the Albania-based Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO).
Over the past days, when “hidden seditionist layers” had stepped up their activities, the chances increased for intelligence forces to identify the terrorists and the elements behind acts of sabotage, the ministry added.
It added that Iranian security forces had to face elements related to certain grouplets, those tied to foreign spy services, deceived rioters on the streets, and direct intervention of the US and UK governments and the Saudis.
The ministry listed its arrests.
Among them were 49 individuals tied to the MKO, who had a hand in fabricating false news, presence in riots and giving directions to the slogans chanted during the gatherings, acts of vandalism, providing rioters with equipment and explosives for confronting the police and setting fire to public places and property.
It said 77 members of separatist groups in Kurdistan, including official mercenaries of the Zionist regime such as the so-called Komala Party. Such grouplets were active on both sides of the country’s western borders and were hatching plots against the Kurdish people.
One of the individuals, the statement added, had received training in a US-Zionist base in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region and was arrested in a surprise intelligence operation.
Meanwhile, five Takfiri terrorists were detained and a large cache of weapons were confiscated from them. They were planning bomb attacks and an assassination operation against a senior authority.
The statement said five members of the Baha’ei cult, who took orders from a base in the Israeli-occupied city of Haifa, were also identified and arrested.
Among those detained were also 92 monarchists and loyalists to the ex-Pahlavi regime as well as 9 foreign nationals, including citizens of Germany, Poland, Italy, the Netherlands, France and Sweden, who were present on the scenes of riots.
Intelligence forces also arrested 28 people with criminal backgrounds.
It also said huge caches of arms had also been confiscated from the terrorists.
Terrorists also planned bomb attacks on two passenger planes and sensitive industrial sites. The plots were, however, thwarted, it added.
Over the past months, it added, some Western and Israeli spy services had given training to their elements for operating against the Islamic establishment and bringing about regime change in Iran.
It said warnings had been issued to the foreign embassies whose personnel had “even the slightest” presence in the violent riots, including those of Germany, the UK and Sweden.