TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran denied Monday a report it had detained 10 spies who had entered the Islamic Republic illegally from neighboring Pakistan.
State television said Saturday the spies were seized in Iran’s south-eastern Sistan-Baluchestan province bordering Pakistan. The report had said they were carrying $500,000 in cash, espionage cameras and maps of sensitive regions.
“We deny this report,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi told a news conference, without giving further details.
Sistan-Baluchestan is a volatile province known for frequent clashes between security forces and well-armed drug smugglers.
Iran has in the past accused the United States and Britain of trying to destabilize the country by supporting ethnic minority rebels operating in sensitive border areas.
The United States is leading efforts to isolate Iran over its nuclear program, which the West fears is a cover for a drive to build nuclear bombs. Tehran says it wants only to generate electricity.