Iran's Intelligence Ministry announced Tuesday that it had arrested Iranians working in "several organizations and institutions" through Iran who provided information on Iranians traveling to and from the country to an unidentified foreign spy agency.
The information gathered for the foreign spy agency focused on Iranians who held key positions in government or had access to important information in "sensitive institutions," as well as "experts in various fields."
The Intelligence Ministry stated that "extensive information, counter-intelligence and technical measures" were conducted both inside and outside of Iran in order to identify the network of agents working with the spy agency.
"Through the illegal and unauthorized use of the databases at their disposal, these operators extracted the information contained in those databases about the inquired-about person and delivered it to their contacts," said the ministry.
The ministry added that the network worked through a hierarchy of agents and officers between the collaborators in Iran and the foreign spy agency abroad.
The identity of the targeted individuals and the type of information collected about them were indicative of the foreign spy agency's intentions, said the ministry without elaborating further.
Iran claims it arrested a terrorist group linked to Israel
The announcement comes just days after Iran's intelligence minister said a "terrorist" group linked to Israel was arrested on the western borders of Iran on Sunday, according to the semi-official Nour News agency.
In December, Iran’s Intelligence Ministry claimed that it had thwarted a Mossad network attempting to sabotage its defense industries.