Iran certain of foreign involvement in riots

Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar said Sunday it has become evident for the country that the recent anti-government riots were led by foreigners.

“The rioters are encouraged and supported by Britain, the US and the Zionist regime [Israel],” Mohammad-Najjar told reporters. “The involvement of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), enemies and those who seek to take revenge on the Islamic establishment during the past 30 years is quite clear.”

He underlined that a number of MKO members, whose organization is branded as a terrorist group by many countries around the globe, had been arrested. He said they would be appearing in court soon.

Najjar said the massive participation of the people in rallies on Wednesday across Iran showed they want the judiciary to take action against rioters.

Anti-government protestors staged rallies in Tehran on December 27, taking advantage of the Shia Muslim mourning ceremony of Ashura.

Police used tear gas to disperse the protesters who vandalized public property and set trashcans aflame, provoking clashes with security forces. Seven people died during the unrest.

The deputy police chief, Ahmad-Reza Radan, said the force had not used violence against protesters, rejecting any involvement in the killings, adding that the deaths were being investigated by the authorities.

In response to the Ashura riots, millions of Iranians took to the streets on Wednesday to protest against the desecration of religious sanctities, demanding rioters to be brought to justice.

SF/HGH/MD
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