Security forces have arrested 21 terrorists linked to the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group in the northeastern city of Mashhad, foiling their plans to launch several attacks on Iranian soil, a judiciary official said.
The terrorists “intended to carry out different operations, including suicide attacks”, Press TV quoted Hassan Heydari, the deputy prosecutor general of Mashhad, as saying on Thursday.
“Some of the detained Daesh [IS] members are Iranians and some of them are Afghan nationals who have entered the country using fake documents,” he said.
The official said a number of the arrested terrorists had conducted terrorist operations outside the country.
Heydari said Iranian intelligence forces had launched the security operation in Mashhad as a “deterrent measure” following the recent IS terror attacks in the capital Tehran.
“A part of the operation, Iranian intelligence forces had placed a group of IS terrorists under surveillance,” he said.
“They found that some of the terrorists had entered Iran with fake IDs after receiving military training and pledging allegiance to senior IS leaders.”
Heydari underlined the judiciary’s determination to take serious action against IS elements and other terrorists. On June 7, gunmen mounted almost simultaneous assaults on Iran’s Parliament and the mausoleum of the late founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini. IS claimed responsibility for the assaults, which killed 18 people and injured over 50.
Since then, Iran has launched a nationwide campaign to crack down on terrorists, arresting dozens of suspects and seizing large amounts of explosives and weapons.