Heydar Moslehi

Iran’s Intelligence Minister says recently detained journalists are “puppets of world arrogance” and their arrests have created “havoc” in the network of the country’s enemies.

IRNA reports that Heydar Moslehi said on Monday March 4: “Some domestic media were linked to anti-Revolutionary networks, and identifying them has once again led to the defeat of our enemies’ programs.”

Since January 30, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry has arrested close to 20 journalists. Many of the detainees have already been released on bail.

Moslehi claimed: “A network consisting of 600 reporters, 150 of them inside the country and the others outside Iran, has received a heavy blow from the Intelligence Ministry forces.

The Intelligence Ministry claimed satellite television networks have been launched by the “anti-Revolutionaries” with the goal of “defusing Moslem anger against world arrogance.”

He stressed that the ministry’s activities have been crucial in this period leading up to the presidential election, adding that enemies of the regime may use election time as an opportunity to “engage in seditious activities.”

Iran’s 11th presidential election is slated for June 2013.

The last presidential election threw the country into political crisis; reformist candidates accused the system of vote fraud in favour of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and millions of protesters lined the streets to ask where their votes had gone.