May 26, 2007 / 5:33 PM / 13 years ago

Iran says it has uncovered Western spy networks

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran has uncovered spy networks on its territory organised by occupying forces in Iraq and Iraqi groups, the Intelligence Ministry said in a statement published on Saturday.

The statement gave few details, saying more would be published in the next few days.

Iran has often accused the United States and Britain, which led the invasion of Iraq, of trying to undermine the security of the Islamic Republic. The ministry’s statement did not refer to either country by name.

“The Intelligence Ministry succeeded in finding, recognising and confronting some spy networks of infiltrating elements from the Iraqi occupiers in west, southwest and central Iran,” said the statement, carried by the official IRNA news agency.

“These spy networks were guided by the intelligence services of the occupiers and were supported by some influential Iraqi groups. The detailed news will be announced in the next few days.”

It was not clear whether the “spy networks” were linked to the recent detentions by Iran of Iranian-Americans including U.S-based scholar Haleh Esfandiari, whom the ministry has accused of being linked to efforts to undermine Iran’s government.

The United States has dismissed the accusations and called for Esfandiari’s release.

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