Iran has said the security forces arrested an Israeli spy in its East Azerbaijan province. Tehran said the crackdown in the northwestern province also led to the arrest of several other spies who worked for foreign intelligence agencies.
"An Israeli spy and several others tied to different countries' security services have been arrested in the province," a senior intelligence ministry official told Fars News.
The latest arrest follows the detention of five alleged spies in August last year.
Spies of CIA and Mossad
The report cited Iranian intelligence officers saying that the arrested people were working in collaboration with the CIA, Mossad and some European spy agencies in order to leak information on Iran's nuclear, political and military projects.
However, Iran has not revealed the nationality of any of the alleged spies it arrested.
Israel did not immediately make any comments, Israel's Jerusalem Post newspaper said. Last year, Iran executed an Iranian man convicted of spying for US and Israeli intelligence.
Iran is extremely wary of foreign spies after it suffered momentous damage in the recent years. Iran suffered the heaviest blow when the Israeli spies successfully executed its chief nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadhe last year. The top nuclear expert was killed in a high-precision attack in Absard, near capital Tehran, in November.
Iran blamed Israel for the killing Fakhrizadeh, who was seen by Western intelligence services as the mastermind of a covert Iranian nuclear weapons program. Tehran has denied seeking to build a nuclear arsenal. Israel. at that time, neither confirmed nor denied responsibility for the killing.
According to Iranian media reports, the attackers opened fire on the scientist travelling in the car in Damavand county. The attack was followed by a car explosion. The brazen killing of the nuclear scientist was second major for blow for Iran last year, following the killing of Qassem Soleimani, the most senior commander of the Quds Forces, in a US air strike in Baghdad.
In July last year, Iran executed a man for allegedly spying for the US and Israeli intelligence agencies. Mahmoud Mousavi Majd, an Iranian national, was accused of providing the Americans with the details about Qaseem Soleimani.
Tehran also said it executed a CIA spy who allegedly sold information regarding its missile program to the US. The executed man was an Iranian named Reza Asgari, who had worked for the the ministry of defense.