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Iranian officials thwart large terror plot targeting Tehran - ministry

Officials in Iran have broken up "the biggest terrorist plot" to target Tehran and other Iranian cities. Intelligence officials reportedly seized "huge" amounts of explosives and some bombs.

Iranian intelligence officials disrupted a number of bombing plots targeting the capital Tehran and other cities, the Intelligence Ministry reported on Monday.

"In a criminal plot of the anti-Islamic terrorist takfiri groups, a series of bombings had been planned in several places of the country for the coming days ... the terrorists were arrested and some bombs and a huge amount of explosives were seized," the ministry said in a statement on state news agency IRNA.

Several suspects have been arrested and are being interrogated over the plot.

Although the report didn't identify those who had been detained, the statement called them "takfiris," which is a derogatory term in Arabic and Farsi referring to hardline Sunni Muslims who accuse other Muslims of being "nonbelievers."

Iran, a Shiite Islamic Republic, has been aiding both the Syrian and Iraqi governments in their fight against the militant "Islamic State" group.

Another IRNA report referred to the suspects as "Wahhabi takfiris."

Wahhabism is an ultraconservative school of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia,

which currently has strained ties with Iran.

Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Shiite cleric in January, prompting protests and attacks on Saudi diplomatic posts in Iran.

In May, Iran's intelligence minister, Mahmoud Alavi, announced that officials dismantled 20 "terrorist groups" which planned to detonate bombs across the country.

rs/kms (AP, Reuters)

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