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Iran summons Saudi envoy over spy ring claim

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March 28, 2013 03:10 AM EST | AP

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TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has summoned a Saudi envoy to protest the kingdom's allegation that members of a spy ring arrested in the Arab country last week worked for Iranian intelligence.

The semi-official Mehr news agency said in a report late Wednesday that Iran's Foreign Ministry "strongly rejected" the claim during a meeting with the Saudi charge d'affaires in Tehran. The report says Iran is seeking an explanation from the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has said that material evidence and detainee confessions prove the members of the arrested group had received money from Iran for information on vital locations in the kingdom. Iran has denied such payments.

The mainly Sunni kingdom and the predominantly Shiite Iran are regional rivals. They have a hostile relationship and frequently trade accusations.