Iran’s Intelligence Ministry made the announcement in a statement on Tuesday, saying the apprehension took place after tracking and identifying the sabotage cells, along with a series of coordination operations in Tehran, Esfahan and Kordestan Provinces, which led to the arrest of 10 operational and supporting elements of the MKO.
The Ministry said the cells carried out terrorist acts and numerous mortar attacks against administrative, military, law enforcement and residential centers during the recent foreign-backed riots, adding that they inflicted damages as they fueled an atmosphere of fear and insecurity.
“In several terrorist operations, the members of these cells embarked on hurling hand-made grenades at public gatherings and conducted mortar attacks on the above-mentioned centers, and they were plotting for far more severe measures,” the statement noted.
Iran’s Intelligence Ministry said the entire terrorist activities by the cells were carried out under the direct guidance of the MKO’s European headquarters in Albania, and that they even used in their operations the veteran and long-serving elements of the terrorist group, who were pardoned and commuted by the Islamic Republic in the 1980s.
The weapons and equipment belonging to the cells, such as mortars, grenades, materials and equipment for making hand-made grenades, small arms and Molotov cocktails, had been discovered and confiscated, it added.
Protests broke out in several Iranian cities after the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman of Kurdish descent who died in hospital three days after she collapsed in a police station in Tehran. An investigation attributed her death to her medical condition, dismissing allegations that she had been beaten by police forces.
Despite Iranian officials’ clarification on the circumstances surrounding Amini’s death, violent street protests have led to attacks on security officers and acts of vandalism against public property and sanctities.
The Islamic Republic has strongly censured several countries for provoking the riots through their spy agencies and propaganda apparatus. London, in particular, hosts several anti-Iran networks, including Iran International, Manoto, and BBC Persian.
In a statement published on Saturday, the Security Council of Iran’s Interior Ministry said the enemy waged a hybrid war against the Islamic Republic to weaken national solidarity and hinder the country’s progress, stressing that some 200 people have lost their lives in the riots sparked by separatist and terrorist groups since their outbreak in September.
It said rioters conducted acts of vandalism, violence and insecurity in Iran and paved the way for separatist and terrorist groups to infiltrate into the country and carry out brutal attacks against innocent people.