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Iran says thwarted election day bomb plot

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran’s Intelligence Ministry said on Thursday it had uncovered a foreign-linked terrorist plot to plant bombs in mosques and other crowded places in Tehran during the country’s June 12 presidential election.

State television aired a statement by what it said was one of those involved in the plot saying Americans in neighboring Iraq had given them the know-how to build explosive devices.

The website of state broadcaster IRIB quoted a ministry statement as saying several terrorist groups had been discovered, adding they were linked to Iran’s foreign enemies, also including Israel.

“Members of one of the uncovered networks were planning to plant bombs on election day at various crowded Tehran spots, including Ershad and Al-Nabi mosques,” the statement said, referring to two prominent mosques in the capital.

It said this plot was uncovered on election day.

State television said members of the plot had planned to place bombs in polling stations in 20 districts of Tehran.

It aired statements by four people with pixilated faces.

One of them said: “We had contacts with the Americans in Iraq and they wanted to have information from inside Iran about the situation. They gave us formula to build bombs.”

Iran often accuses Israel and the United States, its two arch foes, of seeking to destabilize the Islamic Republic.

Official results from last Friday’s election showed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had won by a landslide, sparking days of protests by supporters of defeated candidate Mirhossein Mousavi, a moderate who is seeking better ties with the West.

On Tuesday, Iranian state television said the “main agents” in post-election unrest were arrested with explosives and guns.

Intelligence Minister Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei has said his ministry was chasing two categories of people seeking to create instability in the Islamic Republic, one of them backed from abroad.

Reporting by Hossein Jaseb and Parisa hafezi; Writing by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Jon Hemming