Flag of Iran
Flag of Iran iStock

Security forces in Iran have arrested tens of spies working in state bodies, the country’s Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

Alavi did not say when the arrests took place or which countries the spies allegedly were working for. He indicated, however, that many of the detainees were dual nationals.

“I have repeatedly asked people to inform us if they know any dual national. The intelligence ministry’s anti-espionage unit has successfully identified and arrested tens of spies in different governmental bodies,” said the Iranian minister.

Iran regularly says it captured spies, and sometimes those are sentenced to death. Two years ago, the Islamic Republic arrested a member of the negotiating team that reached a nuclear deal with world powers on suspicion of spying.

In another incident that year, Iran announced it had executed a nuclear scientist convicted of handing over "confidential and vital" information to the United States.

In June of 2012, Iran claimed to have dismantled a terrorist and sabotage network in the southern city of Shiraz, which allegedly planned bombings and assassination attempts during Iran’s presidential election.

A month earlier, Iran hanged two convicted spies, one accused and found guilty of working for Israel, the other for the United States.

In a previous incident, Iran executed Majid Jamali Fashi after convicting him of spying for the Mossad and of playing a key role in the January 2010 assassination of a top nuclear scientist in return for payment of $120,000.