Iran vs ISIS: Islamic State Cell Planning Attacks on Religious Sites Arrested

Arrests come after Iran fired into Syria, aiming at ISIS bases after the group claimed twin attacks that killed 18 people in Tehran

A member of Iranian Revolutionary Guard speaks on his walkie talkie while Zolfaghar surface-to-surface ballistic missiles are displayed in an annual pro-Palestinian rally marking Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day in Tehran, Iran, Friday, June 23, 2017.
Vahid Salemi/AP

Iranian security forces have arrested members of a group linked to Islamic State which had planned bombings and suicide attacks in religious centres, state television reported on Saturday.

Intelligence Ministry agents "were able to arrest a group linked to Daesh (Islamic state) that intended to carry out terror operations in religious cities ..., and (seized) explosive and suicide attack equipment," the television said.

It did not say how many militants were held.

The arrests came days after Iranian Revolutionary Guards fired missiles from western Iran into eastern Syria, aiming at bases of the Islamic State which had claimed responsibility for twin attacks that killed 18 people in Tehran on June 7.

The attacks by the Sunni Muslim militants at Iran's parliament and near the mausoleum of the Islamic Republic's founder exacerbated regional tensions.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said afterwards the raids would increase hatred for Saudi Arabia, the region's main Sunni power, and America.

Authorities seized three assault rifles, a machine-gun equipped with a silencer, three suicide belts, as well as explosives and bomb-making equipment, the state broadcaster IRIB said on its website on Saturday.