Iran says it has arrested alleged Israeli agents and seized arms meant for "riots"
The report follows protests over water shortages that erupted more than 10 days ago in the south-west of the country, where, according to Iranian media, at least four people were killed.
Officials have accused "opportunists" and "rioters" of shooting at demonstrators and security forces during the gatherings.
"A network of agents of the Zionist regime's spy agency (Mossad) was arrested... after entering from the country's western border," a ministry official was quoted as saying by the broadcaster.
A "cache of weapons and ammunition" meant to be used by "Mossad operatives... in urban riots and for assassination" was also seized, the unnamed official added, without elaborating.
The official did not give the nationality of those arrested or make a direct link with the recent protests.
Iran has on previous occasions announced the arrest of individuals accused of spying for its enemies, including the United States and Israel.
The seized weapons included pistols, grenades, shotguns, assault rifles and bullets, with some meant to be used to instigate violence at protests, he added.
A video released by Iranian state TV's website showed a number of weapons and grenades including AK-47s and pistols stacked in the back of a white SUV.
Iran has in recent years been hit by several protests over the economy and living conditions made worse by punishing US sanctions reimposed since 2018.
The Islamic republic has regularly blamed violence at protests on its enemies, mainly the US and Israel, as well as the People's Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), which Tehran considers a "terrorist group" and has banned since 1981.
Human rights groups outside of Iran have previously accused the Islamic republic of using force against protesters.
Iran has also accused Israel of being behind sabotage attacks against its nuclear sites, and assassinating a number of its scientists. (AFP)