Iran busts 'Israeli-linked sabotage ring'

2012-04-10 21:45

Tehran - Iran's intelligence ministry says it has broken an Israeli-linked "terror and sabotage" network which has its headquarters in an unspecified nearby country.

"One of the Zionist regime's biggest terror and sabotage networks and some of its agents have been identified. A group of criminal terrorists and mercenaries co-operating with them has been arrested," the ministry said in a statement picked up by Iranian media on Tuesday.

"A number of the operatives were arrested as they were preparing to carry out a terrorist operation," it said.

"Heavy bombs," machine guns, pistols, silencers, military communications gear and "other terrorist equipment" were seized in operations "in border and central provinces" inside Iran, the ministry said without being specific.

The operations led to "identifying the Zionists' regional headquarters in one of the regional countries", it said, without naming the country concerned.

Iran from time to time announces the arrest of suspects alleged to be working for US, British or Israeli espionage services. It rarely provides any evidence to substantiate such claims.

Relations between Iran and its northern neighbour, Azerbaijan, have become strained, with each accusing the other of preparing "terrorist" actions.

Tehran is also unhappy over Baku's ties to Israel, and its purchase of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Israeli military weapons and equipment.

Additionally, Iran is bordered by Afghanistan and Iraq, both of which have a US military presence.

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