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Iran says it has arrested spies for Israel, other nations

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian authorities arrested several people on charges of spying for Israel and other nations, state TV announced Monday.

An unnamed Intelligence Ministry official in the country’s eastern Azerbaijan province was quoted by state TV as saying that security forces had detained a group of people suspected of spying for Israel and other unspecified countries. The brief report did not provide further details on the nationalities of the suspects or provide evidence to support the espionage charges.

Iran does not recognize Israel and supports anti-Israeli armed groups across the region, such as Lebanon’s Shiite militant Hezbollah group and Palestinian militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

Iran occasionally announces the detention of people it claims are foreign spies, including for the U.S. and Israel, without any further report on their fates.

Iran executed a man last year convicted of leaking information to the United States and Israel about prominent Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps general Qassem Soleimani, who was later killed by a U.S. drone strike in Iraq.

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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