Iran arrests Europeans accused of involvement in riots

Iran arrests Europeans accused of involvement in riots
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  • The woman’s death in the custody of the morality police sparked protests
  • The expansion of rebellion against the spiritual establishment
  • Iran blames the hostile West for fueling the unrest
  • According to official information, 19 people were killed during the attack on the police station

DUBAI, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Iran said on Friday it had arrested nine European nationals for their role in the unrest, blaming “foreign enemies” for protests that have swept the country after the death of a woman in moral police custody.

The detention of citizens of Germany, Poland, Italy, France, Holland, Sweden and other countries will increase the tension between Iran and Western countries regarding the death of Mahsa Amin.

Increased losses are reported to be higher. 19 people were killed when security forces opened fire on armed protesters who attacked the police station, the official said.

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Tehran responded to international condemnation of the case by lashing out at its critics and accusing the United States of using the unrest to destabilize Iran.

In a statement released by the Iranian mass media, it was stated that 9 unknown persons were detained “during the riots or while preparing a plan in the background”.

Amini, 22, from Iran’s Kurdish town of Saghez, was arrested this month in Tehran for “improper clothing” by morality police enforcing the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code for women.

His death sparked the first major opposition demonstrations on the streets of Iran since authorities cracked down on protests against rising gasoline prices in 2019. The demonstrations quickly turned into a popular uprising against the clerical authorities.

Demonstrations involving all sections of society, including ethnic and religious minorities, have spread from Amin’s hometown to all 31 provinces of Iran.

Fearing an ethnic uprising and in a show of force, Iran this week fired missiles and drones at targets in the Kurdish region of neighboring northern Iraq after it accused Iranian Kurdish dissidents of involvement in the unrest.

Western human rights groups say Iran, which is dominated by Persian Shiites, discriminates against ethnic and religious minorities. Tehran denies this.


While analysts do not expect Iran’s spiritual rulers to fall, they are on the defensive and trying to strategize to quell the anger.

Human rights activists said dozens of activists, students and artists had been detained, while the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Twitter it had learned that security forces had arrested at least 28 journalists so far in September. 29.

Iran’s high-ranking cleric has called for strict measures against the protesters.

“Our security is our distinguishing privilege. The people of Iran demand the harshest punishment for these brutal rioters,” said Mohammad Javad Haji Ali Akbari, the leader of Friday prayers before a large gathering in Tehran.

Amnesty International said on Friday that the government’s crackdown on the demonstrations has so far killed at least 52 people and injured hundreds.

Despite the increase in the death toll, videos circulating on social networks show demonstrators calling for the downfall of the religious administration.

In some videos, heavy gunfire was heard as the protesters chanted “Death to Khamenei” in reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Human rights group Hengaw released a video it said showed protests in Saghez, the town of Amini, on Friday evening. Young women waving their headscarves in the air as a sign of protest against Iran’s hijab rules were greeted with applause.

1500tasvir, an activist Twitter account with more than 150,000 followers, posted videos of protests in the southwestern oil city of Abadan in which demonstrators chanted “Clergy must be lost.” In other videos, protests are allegedly held in the cities of Karaj, west of Tehran, and Isfahan, in central Iran.

Reuters could not verify the footage.


State television said “unknown gunmen” opened fire on a police station in the southeastern city of Zahedan, and security forces returned fire. The provincial governor told state television that 19 people, including security forces, were killed. Twenty people were injured.

State media reported that the IRGC’s elite intelligence chief in Sistan and Baluchistan province was killed in Zahedan during a clash with “terrorists”.

A video circulating on social media showed several wounded protesters being helped by their comrades, one of whom was trying to stop the bleeding of a man who appeared to have been shot in the neck.

In the background of the news that the student strike is planned, the authorities said that Zahedan University will have distance education until October. ISNA semi-official news agency reported on this.

Internet watchdog NetBlocks said on Twitter that Live network data shows a regional internet outage in Zahedan.

Demonstrators also set fire to state offices in at least one city in southeastern Iran, home to the Baloch ethnic minority. The state news agency IRNA reported that an attempt to assassinate a judge in the city of Saravan was unsuccessful.

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Written by Michael Georgy; Edited by Angus MacSwan, Alex Richardson and Toby Chopra

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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