Iran has accused the United States of trying to conduct a cyber war against the Islamic Republic and has arrested a group of 30 alleged spies.
Officials added the alleged cyber spies “waged psychological war against the Islamic Republic of Iran, organized and encouraged people to take part in illegal gatherings, collected information on nuclear scientists and gave information to spy agencies.”
According to a report published Saturday by the state-run Fars news agency, the charges included creating an intelligence-gathering network, “including identification of the country's nuclear scientists and staging illegal demonstrations and encouraging the public to take part in them after the presidential elections.”
The government claimed the alleged spies were members from the “exiled People's Mujahedeen and monarchists” and were funded by the administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush “to launch a cyber war against Iran.” “The Interpol has been informed to take action against some who live in the United States,” the news agency said.
A mass opposition movement has swelled in Iran over the past year in response to the lopsided election results that showed a “landslide victory” for the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last June. Nearly daily protests spread throughout the country, led by members of 68-year-old former Iranian Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Moussavi's Green Movement.
Moussavi, who served in office from 1981 through 1989. Hundreds of Green Movement members and other demonstrators were arrested by government forces during and after the protests. Many were injured during the demonstrations, and some were killed. There have also been numerous accounts of people being tortured in prison and "disappearing."
Iran has sought ways to minimize the media coverage of the violence perpetrated against demonstrators by Basiji government security forces by blaming "foreign agents" who it says have infiltrated the country and have led its youth astray.