(Bloomberg) -- Iran arrested a number of people it said were linked to Israel’s Mossad spy agency on the country’s western border, according to state television.

They were smuggling weapons, including rifles, pistols and grenades, for “use in urban riots and terror operations,” the network said, citing the Intelligence Ministry’s head of anti-espionage operations, without naming him or giving details of exactly where the people were detained.

The report didn’t provide any further information to back up the claim, which comes a week after protests erupted in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan on Iran’s southwestern border with Iraq.

Deadly Water Protests in Iran Challenge Its Distracted Leaders

Iranian authorities often blame spies and foreign interference for protests that are highly critical of the government or the state, and frequently use terms such as “rioters” and “terrorists” to refer to demonstrators. Israel is Iran’s leading foe in the Middle East.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.