An Iranian military chief said Tuesday that a number of people have been arrested for contact with US intelligence services during the recent riots in the country, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Deputy Commander-in-Chief Ali Fadavi revealed the arrest during a gathering of commanders of the IRGC medical unit in Tehran.

The IRGC intelligence has arrested several "spy agents" linked to the US intelligence services during the recent riots, and has handed them over to the judicial authorities, Fadavi said, adding they acted as "the enemy's network leaders" in the recent riots.

"These people were not only related to the Iran International (TV channel), which operates under the enemy's spy services but were also related to the U.S. intelligence and spy services," he added.

Iran regularly claims to have captured individuals who are accused of spying for Israel, and sometimes also for the US.

In August of 2019, Iran jailed two people, including a British dual national, for 10 years for spying for Israel.

In June of that year, a former Iranian Department of Defense contractor was executed by Iran for spying for the US government.

Tuesday’s claims come as Iran continues to deal with mass anti-government protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on September 16, after she was arrested for an alleged breach of the country's strict dress rules for women based on Islamic sharia law.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the crackdown since Amini's death. UN rights experts say thousands of peaceful protesters have also been arrested, including many women, children and journalists, and at least six people have so far been handed death sentences over the demonstrations.

Iranian leaders, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have claimed that the protests inside the country are the work of Israel and the United States.