A statement issued by a unit of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corp (IRGC) on Wednesday said the smugglers were spotted while attempting to enter the country’s borders from the northwest, without specifying the location.
The members of the band, it added, planned to “disrupt public security in the society and provoke riots.”
During the operation, nine battle rifles and a large cache of ammunition were confiscated from the smugglers, the statement said.
“Through such schemes, the enemy seeks to arm terrorist and separatist elements as well as rioters and disrupt public peace and security in the society, conduct false-flag killings, and take political advantage from that,” but the conspiracy was foiled, it added.
A series of deadly unrest and riots hit Iranian cities amid protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian woman, in police custody since mid-September.
The rioters, which officials say are linked to foreign parties, have engaged in various acts of violence ranging from armed attacks on security forces, false-flag killings, vandal assaults on public property, and desecration of sanctities.