DUBAI - Iran's foreign ministry said the country was not linked to a group of alleged spies arrested in Saudi Arabia, Iranian media reported on Sunday.
Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday that it had detained an Iranian, a Lebanese, and 16 Saudis for spying. Political analysts and press in Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia have accused Shi'ite Iran of being behind the alleged espionage.
The two countries are locked in a struggle for influence across the region, backing opposing sides in Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. Gulf Arab foreign ministers, meeting in Riyadh last month, issued a statement condemning what they said was Iranian "meddling" in their countries - an accusation Tehran rejects.
Iran's foreign ministry spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, denied that an Iranian national was involved in the alleged spy ring and called the allegations a "repetitive scenario", according to Iran's English-language Press TV on Sunday.
"Raising such baseless issues at the media level is merely for domestic consumption," he said, according to Press TV.