0710 GMT November 19, 2019
Ruhollah Zam, a journalist-turned-activist who headed Amadnews with more 1 million followers on social media, was based in France and other parts of Europe.
Zam’s capture was a “complex operation using intelligence deception”, the IRGC said in a statement carried by the television.
It did not say where the operation took place, but appeared to suggest he was detained in Iran, saying he was held after being “guided into the country”.
“Despite being under the guidance of the French intelligence service and under the protection of the US and Zionist (Israeli) intelligence services ... he (Zam) was trapped by the Revolution Guards intelligence service,” the statement said.
Amadnews was suspended by the messaging app Telegram last year after Iran accused it of carrying calls for violence during protests that started in late 2017 and continued across the country. But the channel soon re-appeared under a new name.
Iran’s authorities accused the country’s foes of fomenting the unrest, which began as protests about economic hardship and corruption.
The statement added that his arrest was a victory of the IRGC’s intelligence forces over Western intelligence.