Iran's Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi says the spies recently arrested in Iran were plotting to implement US plans during upcoming Iranian parliamentary polls.
Moslehi said on Sunday that the espionage agents were planning to disrupt the elections, using guidelines communicated to them from outside the country and generating disturbance through online social networking websites.
According to the deputy head of Iran's Election Headquarters, Hassan-Ali Nouri, more than 4,500 hopefuls have applied for candidacy in the ninth round of Iran's parliamentary elections, slated to be held on March 2.
Moslehi said the fifth columnists were arrested after their activities and liaisons were fully established by Iran's Intelligence Ministry.
The Iranian intelligence minister added that the spies were not part of any major group.
Over the past year, the Islamic Republic has apprehended many suspicious individuals, who were later found to have been enlisted by the United States and Israel.