“We expect the Saudi government to pursue the issue through correct channels instead of creating media hype,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s newly-appointed spokesman, Abbas Araqchi said on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia’s state media reported that the country had arrested 10 more suspects in what it claimed was a spy ring linked to Iran. The kingdom had arrested 18 others people in the same case in March 2012.
According to Saudi state media those detained include 24 Saudi nationals, one Turk, two Lebanese citizen, and allegedly one Iranian.
“It was alleged [by the Saudi Arabia] that a network of spies, who were arrested in late March last year, were connected to Iran. At the time, we stressed the fallacy of this claim,” Araqchi added.
The spokesman noted that the Foreign Ministry summoned the Saudi Arabian chargé d’affaires in Tehran and protested the allegations in March 2012, requesting a formal explanation from the Saudi side.
Araqchi said Iran had requested consular access to the Iranian national two months ago but “unfortunately there has been no response from Saudi officials.”
Saudi activists say there are more than 30,000 political prisoners, mostly prisoners of conscience, in jails across the Kingdom.
According to the activists, most of the detained political thinkers are being held by the government without trial or legitimate charges and have been arrested for merely looking suspicious. Some of the detainees have reportedly been held without trial for more than 16 years.