Police: Key riot organizers detained

January 7, 2018 - 19:53

TEHRAN – Police announced on Sunday that the main plotters of the recent scattered riots in some Iranian towns and cities have been arrested, vowing strong response to hostile groups and terrorists.

General Saeed Montazer-al-Mahdi, the police spokesman, said a few “deceived elements” and “rioters” who breached the country's security and damaged private and public property had been taken care of and the agitation was over.

“The people and protesters who had rightful demands were separated in the minimum time possible from the organizers and those directing [the riots] and the violators were identified and arrested,” the police spokesman explained.

Among the detainees, he said, are those who disrespected national flag and steered a fire engine into the crowd of people in the western city of Doroud, killing a father and his son.

He also confirmed that a total of 20 people, including a police officer, lost their lives in the violence.
Those detained were handed over to judicial authorities who have released most of them, only holding the main culprits and saboteurs, Montazer-al-Mahdi added.

The deaths followed after some towns and cities were hit by scattered riots, which followed a series of peaceful demonstrations over economic issues.

In the meantime, Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi on Sunday announced 70 arrested suspects had been set free.

Law enforcement forces intervened after some vandals and armed elements launched attacks on public property, mosques and police stations.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the enemies were using various means to harm the Iranian nation and the Islamic establishment.

The U.S. and Israel cheered the riots from the very beginning, sparking anger among many Iranians who have taken to the streets over the past few days to reiterate support for the Islamic establishment and repudiate the unrest. 

A U.S. bid to take the issue to the UN backfired on Friday as council members dismissed it as “a domestic issue that did not fall under the mandate of the Security Council.”

The Security Council “rebuffed the U.S.' naked attempt to hijack its mandate,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter Saturday.

In the meantime, Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said the country's security forces will soon give a “crushing response” to terrorists and groups hostile to the Islamic Republic operating in the region.

Iranian youths will thwart enemies' vicious plots through their acts of bravery, Alavi said, adding security forces would not allow enemies to undermine national security.

The minister promised that terrorist groups would fail to weaken the people's determination.

The Intelligence Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that security forces had dismantled a terrorist group and arrested its members in West Azarbaijan.

According to the statement, the terrorist group “which had infiltrated into Iran with the aim of fueling the recent unrest” were put under surveillance in the city of Piranshahr.

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