ANKARA (Reuters) - Iran's cyber police chief said on Monday (Dec 7) some 53 people had been arrested for allegedly running websites supportive of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group, Tasnim news agency reported.
"They were mainly based in provinces near border areas or near our borders," Hossein Ashtari said, without specifying where.
Shi’ite Muslim power Iran said last month it had broken up a cell recruiting fighters for the hardline Sunni Muslim group in Kermanshah, a western province close to the Iraqi border.
The area has a large Sunni Kurdish population that has risen up against Teheran in the past.
ISIS has seized swathes of territory in both neighbouring Iraq and also in Syria, where Iran has sent security officers to help President Bashar al-Assad’s forces battle the militants.
Iran’s semi-official Students News Agency ISNA said the arrests had taken place in the past 20 months and that some of those arrested had been released.
“Among those arrested, the cases of those who confessed ... were referred to the judiciary while some whose involvement were based on their unawareness (of what they were doing were released),” ISNA quoted Hadianfar as saying.
No further details were immediately available.