RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Saudi-owned media report that 32 people have been accused of spying for the kingdom's regional rival Iran and now face trial.
Al-Arabiya reported Monday that 30 are Saudis from the eastern region of Qatif, where Shiites are dominant. The other two are an Afghan and an Iranian.
Al-Hayat newspaper reported that they have been charged with establishing a spy ring in collaboration with Iranian intelligence, providing Iran with highly sensitive information on the Saudi military, seeking to commit acts of sabotage against Saudi economic interests, inciting sectarian strife, recruiting others for espionage and participating in anti-government protests.
The Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution presented the charges on Sunday to Riyadh's Specialized Criminal Court.
The trial comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which severed diplomatic ties last month.