Iran Dismisses Saudi Arabia's Espionage Claims

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian foreign ministry rejected Riyadh's claims that it has arrested a number of people involved in espionage operations for Iran.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Araqchi dismissed Saudi Arabia's false allegations that the Islamic Republic has links to a spy cell recently arrested in the Kingdom.

"We expect the Saudi government to pursue the issue through correct channels instead of creating media hype," he said on Wednesday.

Saudi state media reported that those detained include 24 Saudi nationals, one Turk, two Lebanese citizen, and allegedly one Iranian.

"It was alleged (by the Saudi Arabia) that a network of spies, who were arrested in late March last year, were connected to Iran. At the time, we stressed the fallacy of this claim," Araqchi added.

He noted that the Foreign Ministry summoned the Saudi Arabian chargé d'affaires in Tehran and protested the allegations in March 2012, requesting a formal explanation from the Saudi side.

Araqchi said Iran had requested consular access to the Iranian national two months ago but "unfortunately there has been no response from Saudi officials."