AFP: Iran announced on Tuesday it has foiled a rebel plan to carry out a “terrorist act” in an oil-rich border province, adding it was on guard against Western plans to topple the clerical authorities. by Farhad Pouladi
TEHRAN, Aug 7, 2007 (AFP) – Iran announced on Tuesday it has foiled a rebel plan to carry out a “terrorist act” in an oil-rich border province, adding it was on guard against Western plans to topple the clerical authorities.
“Iranian intelligence agents, in their latest operation, have prevented a terrorist act by an anti-revolutionary group,” Intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie was quoted as saying by the state broadcasting website.
“They were aiming to carry out a terrorist act in the south of the (southwestern) Khuzestan province but they were arrested before carrying out any action,” he added.
Mohseni Ejeie did not give any further details on the individuals involved in the planned attack.
The restive province of Khuzestan borders Iraq and is home to a substantial Arab community. The provincial capital Ahvaz was the scene of deadly attacks in October 2005 and January 2006 that Iran blamed on elements linked to Britain.
Iran’s intelligence services have been on high alert against supposed plots by its Western enemies to create instability, especially in its border regions which have substantial ethnic minority communities.
“With a good intelligence supervision and cooperation… the smallest movement by the enemy inside the country is being identified and immediately their elements are apprehended,” said the minister.
He also said Iran had to be on its guard against a string of Western plans that aimed at toppling the Islamic republic’s clerical rulers.
The first, he said, was led by US Vice President Dick Cheney with the help of outlawed opposition groups inside and outside Iran.
“They try to spread division and splits between forces of revolution and those loyal to the system by utilising some naive and uninformed people,” he said, without giving further details.
Tehran has been holding three US-Iranian citizens on suspicion of harming national security in jail for the past three months, linking them to a supposed US-led plot for a “soft revolution” in Iran.
Mohseni Ejeie said that Iran’s enemies, in particular the United States and Britain, were seeking to prepare the ground for such a soft revolution by seeking to show up the Iranian authorities as “inefficient”.
“They are trying to persuade society that the present government and parliament are inefficient in order to provide the ground for some of their own elements to enter the government and parliament,” he said.
The minister said that in recent months a “number of anti-revolutionaries” had been arrested by Iran’s neighbouring countries and extradited back to the Islamic republic, without saying which states.