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Iran claims to have thwarted 4 ‘Zionist terror cells,’ arrests 14 alleged terrorists

Iran also blamed Israel for attempted sabotage of its defense industry

Iranians burn an Israeli flag in downtown Tehran during a rally commemorating the International Quds Day, also known as Jerusalem Day, on Apr. 29, 2022. (Photo: Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto)

Iranian authorities arrested 14 alleged members of armed terrorist groups with ties to Israel, Iran’s Intelligence Ministry stated on Thursday.

According to Iranian media reports, authorities arrested 14 men between Aug. 19 and Aug. 25, seized 43 bombs and thwarted four “Zionist-linked terror bases” in the Iranian provinces of Khuzestan, Mazandaran, Kermanshah, Sistan and Baluchestan.

The cells were allegedly planning to carry out terror attacks and false-flag operations.

Iran alleges the groups had ties to Israel, as well as connections to other countries, including Germany, Denmark, Pakistan and Afghanistan, but did not detail the exact nature of the alleged ties.

The terrorists used Telegram, Instagram, WhatsApp and Twitter as their main social media platforms, and had media links with TV channels, such as Iran International and BBC Persian, according to Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).

MOIS authorities said it also arrested two “fully armed and well-equipped” terrorists in Khuzestan Province earlier in the month, who were in possession of 382 types of homemade bombs, bomb-making tools and chemical materials as well as 65 incendiary bombs.

A possible connection to the four “Zionist-linked terror bases” is unclear.

Iranian state TV reported on Thursday that “the intelligence unit of the Defense Ministry thwarted one of the largest sabotage plots targeting Iran's missile, aviation and airspace military industry.”

“This sabotage was carried out under the guidance of the Zionist intelligence services and their agents,” the report added.

An unnamed Iranian defense ministry official stated that an attempt was made to introduce defective parts into the production of advanced missiles by a network of agents, working in the service of Israel.

Iran has in recent years routinely blamed Israel, the U.S., or ISIS for terror attacks and sabotage in the country and has repeatedly claimed to have arrested Israelis or 'Mossad spies.'

After last month’s shooting attack at the Shah Cheragh Shrine in the Iranian city of Shiraz, in which two people were killed and eight others wounded, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) blamed both Israel and ISIS and vowed revenge.

The local IRGC commander in the province of Fars said there was "no doubt that the terror network was linked to Israel,” according to Al-Monitor news.

In recent weeks, Iran has intensified its crackdown against individuals seen as critical of the regime, ahead of the one-year anniversary of Mahsa Amini's death, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.

Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd was arrested for allegedly violating the strict dress rules for women and later died in custody, which sparked months of protests against the ayatollah regime.

On Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian threatened Israel with revenge for its alleged airstrike on Syria's Aleppo International Airport on Monday that crippled the airport for days.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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