The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a branch of Iran's military and a U.S. designated foreign terrorist group, has detained several foreigners, including the United Kingdom's second-ranking envoy in Tehran, state-run media reported.
"These spies were taking earth samples in Iran's central desert where the Revolutionary Guards' aerospace missile exercises were conducted," state TV claimed, Reuters reported.
The outlet featured footage of Giles Whitaker, the deputy head of mission at the British Embassy in Tehran, and his family.
State media accused Whitaker of taking ground samples near a missile test site.
The IRGC also reportedly detained the husband of Austria's Iran cultural attaché as well as Polish university professor Maciej Walczak.
Walczak and three colleagues visited Iran as part of a scientific exchange program, and the state media also accused them of gathering soil samples during a missile test.
The IRGC has arrested dozens of foreigners and dual nationals over the past few years, mostly on espionage and similar charges.
Biden was rumored to be working to remove the IRGC from the U.S. terrorist list as part of a larger effort to revive the Obama-era nuclear deal from which former President Donald Trump withdrew.
The White House faced intense pressure from lawmakers to not delist the IRGC, but experts told Just the News that easing visa restrictions on migrants connected to terror groups could be a compromise with Iran.