Iran criticized Britain after a ‘network’, including UK nationals, was arrested at the protest | Daily News Byte


TEHRAN, Iran – Iran blasted Britain’s “non-constructive role” on Monday, a day after the Islamic Republic announced the arrest of a UK-linked “network” involved in three months of protests that began with the death of Mahsa Amini.

Iran has been rocked by protests since the September 16 death of 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish Amini following her arrest in Tehran for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women.

Tehran typically calls the protests “riots” and accuses its foreign enemies, including Britain, of fomenting the unrest.

State news agency IRNA reported on Sunday that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in the south of the country arrested seven people, including dual nationals, who operated “under the direct guidance of British elements”.

Asked about his arrest during Monday’s press conference, Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said “some countries, especially the ones you mentioned, had a non-constructive role in relation to recent developments in Iran.”

“Their role was very provocative in fueling extremism and riots,” Kanani said of the foreign nations.

Illustration: A protester holds a picture of Mahsa Amini during a demonstration in support of Amin, a young Iranian woman who died after being arrested in Tehran by the Islamic Republic’s Morality Police on Istiklal Avenue in Istanbul on September 20, 2022, on Istiklal Avenue in Istanbul. (Ozan Kosse /AFP)

The group, which IRNA described as an “organized network,” “has been at the forefront of subversive plots, especially during the recent riots,” the report quoted the Guards as saying.

The seven people arrested in Kerman province were “involved in planning, leading and producing material as well as field action in recent riots,” it added.

Some of them are “dual nationals who were trying to flee the country,” the statement said, without elaborating.

Iran’s judiciary said last month that 40 foreigners, including dual citizens, had been arrested in the unrest.

“During the recent riots, many citizens of European countries have been arrested with varying degrees of involvement in the riots,” Foreign Ministry Kanani said on Monday.

“Consular and political information has been provided to their respective countries,” he added.

Iranians protested the September death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was detained by morality police in Tehran on October 27, 2022. (Photo taken by a person not employed by The Associated Press and obtained by AP outside Iran, Madhya Pradesh. Prior Images/AP)

“The role of citizens of some countries, especially European and Western European countries… is quite clear and proven.”

A number of Westerners, including dual nationals, were already in custody in Iran before protests erupted in September.

Western governments have accused Tehran of using a “hostage-taking” policy aimed at securing concessions or the release of Iranians held abroad.

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