Ramin Mehmanparast

Iran has denied Saudi claims that an Iranian citizen is a part of the alleged spy ring recently arrested in Saudi Arabia.

Iranian media quoted Iran’s intelligence and the foreign ministries saying: “This claim is a repetitive and baseless scenario.”

Ramin Mehmanparast, the spokesman for the foreign ministry, said: “These unfounded claims in the media only serve certain internal purposes of that country.”

A spokesman for the Saudi interior ministry announced last Tuesday that it had arrested 18 individuals accused of espionage, adding that among them were one Iranian and one Lebanese national, while the rest were Saudis. The group is accused of spying for a foreign country and was arrested in the cities of Riyadh, Mecca and Al Sharqiya.

They are accused of collecting information about Saudi facilities and vital regions and relaying it to the intelligence agencies of another country.

The tense Iranian-Saudi relations have escalated in recent years. Last year, Saudi Arabia hanged 18 Iranian citizens for drug trafficking charges, further raising the tensions.