More than 40 suspected militants have been detained in Iran on Tuesday, Reuters reports.
The Intelligence Minister, Mahmoud Alavi, claimed that half of those detained were planning to reach Iraq and Syria.
Alavi said that the alleged militants were arrested in northern Mozandaran, Golestan, and Tehran, southern Khuzestan, and eastern Sistan-Baluchistan.
"The arrested people are mercenaries of some backward regional countries," he claimed, without expanding further on his statement, according to Reuters.
The term, "backward" is often used by Iranian politicians to refer to the Gulf Arab states, Iran's rivals for influence in the Arab world.
The practice of Shia Islam is perceived as heretical by Daesh and other Sunni Islamist militant groups fighting in Iraq and Syria.
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