News Brief – September 6, 2011
Iran’s intelligence minister has warned that Western states that actively tried to foment civil unrest during Iran’s 2009 presidential elections were planning a repeat performance during the parliamentary elections in 2012.
Speaking in Tehran on Tuesday, Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi said those behind the post election unrest in 2009 were plotting to derail the upcoming elections.
His warning echoed earlier remarks by political analyst and editor Hossein Shariatmadar who claimed that European embassies in Tehran were “drawing a roadmap for seditious moves” during the 2012 parliamentary elections.
Iran has repeatedly accused the West of attempting to foment civil unrest in the country, singling out the U.S. and Britain in particular.
Following post election riots in 2009, nine employees of the British Embassy in Tehran were arrested for their involvement in the unrest.
One, Hossein Rassam, was charged with spying and admitted to cultivating a network of contacts in the opposition movement using £300,000 that had been allocated for the purpose.
Rassam later admitted that the local staff of the embassy had attended protests against June 2009′s presidential election results together with two British diplomats.
Iran later expelled two British diplomats for their role in the unrest, while Britain retaliated by expelling two Iranian diplomats.
Britain has not been alone in trying to incite unrest in Iran however. In 2010 German diplomats in Tehran were accused of being actively involved in what became known as the “Ashura riots”, named after December 27, the Day of Ashura.
The charge d’affaires of the Swedish embassy in Tehran was also arrested for involvement in the Ashura riots.
Nonetheless, Iran’s intelligence minister vowed that the country’s intelligence services would remain vigilant and put a stop to any attempt to derail the March 2012 parliamentary elections.