Eight people have been arrested in Iran for alleged ties with the CIA, the U.S. spy agency, Iranian authorities said on Wednesday.
Official news agency IRNA quoted a senior Iranian intelligence official as saying that the suspects were "trying to gather information from recent riots and transmit them abroad."
The individuals got orders to attend protests and prepare reports, said the official.
"Accordingly, six of them were arrested at riots and two others who had gathered information were busted before leaving the country," the official added.
Demonstrations broke out across Iran on Nov. 15 after the government imposed petrol rationing and hiked fuel prices at least 50%.
At least 100 banks and dozens of shops have been set ablaze during the protests, the semi-official Mehr news agency has reported, quoting security officials.
Although there are no official figures, the Fars news agency said more than 1,000 protesters have been arrested./aa