Four Iranian nationals, including alleged spy, arrested in Saudi
Relations between the two countries have rapidly deteriorated since the Saudi execution of Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr.
The Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution is in the process of referring the case of four Iranian nationals implicated in national security issues to the Special Criminal Court pending their trial, a local newspaper reported. One of them stands accused of spying for Iranian intelligence.
This comes at a time when a fifth accused person is currently serving a prison sentence after the court convicted him of involvement in recruiting and making travel arrangements for a number of Saudi young men to go to Tehran, and coordinating with other parties to send them to conflict zones.
The accused allegedly planned to take advantage of coming into the country during the Hajj season to carry out attacks in the Kingdom. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison. He will be deported after serving his term.
The five Iranian accused were arrested at different times between 2008 and 2013. The fifth convict is considered the first Iranian terrorist arrested since the beginning of the terrorist attacks in 2003. Since then, the authorities have been working to remove such threats to the country.
According to official information, one Iranian was arrested on December 25 2008 and the judiciary proved his involvement in activities such as receiving large numbers of Saudis in his house in Iran and giving them shelter, then sending them to the conflict zone in Afghanistan to participate in the fight there, and communicating with a number of coordinators inside and outside the Kingdom for the same reasons.
He was also accused of taking 6,800 euros from a Saudi citizen and handing the money over to another coordinator who sends Saudi youths to Afghanistan.
The other four accused were arrested during 2013 and 2014. One of them was arrested when the Ministry of Interior busted an alleged Iranian spy cell on 17 March 2013 which included 27 elements of which 24 were Saudi citizens and three expats from Iran, Lebanon and Turkey.
The other three Iranians were arrested in 2014 and are still under investigation.
Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material