TEHRAN: Iran’s intelligence minister said on Tuesday that “dozens of spies” had been arrested as part of a crackdown on espionage and dual nationals.
“Financially and through other means, our enemies try to get information on our country,” Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said in an interview on state television.
“They act by spying and infiltration. Fortunately the anti-espionage section is one of the strongest sections of this ministry.”
He did not provide details on the “dozens of spies,” or over what period they were arrested.
He said there was also a concerted effort to root out dual nationals working in official positions.
“If you know anyone, tell us about them,” he said.
Alavi spoke of the threat from the extremists of the Daesh group, which sees Shiite Iran as one of its main enemies in the region.
He said 230 “terrorist cells” had been intercepted over the past year.
“We foiled plots on places such as universities and the metro but we published little information about this,” Alavi said.
Daesh carried out a multi-pronged attack on Iran’s parliament and the shrine of revolutionary leader Ruhollah Khomeini in June 2017 that killed 17 people.
Alavi also covered the crackdown on corruption and those manipulating Iran’s chaotic currency rates, which have been a major focus of discontent in recent months.
“If we want to have a dynamic economy, we must fight economic corruption. In the intelligence ministry, we have opened 130 files and more than 180 suspects have been arrested,” he said.