Iran on Tuesday confirmed the arrest of two German nationals as they tried to interview the son of an Iranian woman whose sentence to death by stoning on an adultery conviction has ignited international criticism.
Foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast announced that the two Germans were detained as they approached the home of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani's son.
His remark on Tuesday was the first official confirmation of the nationality of the two arrested.
Mehmanparast said it was unclear "whether the two are journalists" but he claimed they are linked to anti-government groups outside Iran. He provided no further details.
"The two national have had connections with counter-revolution elements and were arrested for this reason," Mehmanparast was quoted as saying by Iranian Press TV.
Iran's judiciary said Monday only that it arrested two foreigners who had entered the country on tourist visas and did not have documents to prove they were journalists.