Mossad busted? Iran says network planning to disrupt elections
Iranian presidential candidates attend a live debate on state TV in Tehran on May 31 (Mehdi Dehghan/ AFP)
Iran has dismantled an alleged "terror network" backed by Israel's Mossad intelligence services that had a headquarters in Britain, the intelligence ministry said on Sunday.
Officials claimed that the network had planned to disrupt the upcoming presidential election in the Islamic republic, the state broadcaster said, according to AFP news agency.
"The intelligence ministry has identified and arrested the members of this terror network, and confiscated their weapons," IRIB said on its website, quoting a statement by the ministry.
The statement said the group had links to Israel's spy agency, the Mossad, through a unnamed "reactionary" Arab country in the region, but did not mention their nationality.
The statement said the arrested group was made up of 12 members, but did not say when it had been busted.
On June 14, Iran is to hold its first presidential election since massive street protests, stifled by a brutal state crackdown, marred the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.
Iran accuses its Israel and the United States of waging a deadly campaign of sabotage against its disputed nuclear program, announcing from time to time the arrest of suspected Israeli or U.S. spies
The statement on Sunday said the group had been instructed "to conduct terrorist acts ahead of, and in particular, on election day" as well as "creating ethnic and religious divisions" in restive areas of Iran.
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