The Iranian police have detained a man who threatened people with acid attacks in the capital, Tehran, amid national outrage over recent cases of acid throwing.
The arrest was made after a number of citizens in western Tehran contacted the police and reported that an unknown man had threatened them with acid attacks on the phone, Tehran Police Chief Brigadier General Hossein Sajedinia told reporters on Sunday.
Police identified and arrested the man in an urgent operation on Saturday night “when he was making a call from a public booth,” Sajedinia said.
The detainee admitted that he had been “influenced by foreign satellite channels,” added Sajedinia.
According to the police chief, some others have been also arrested and are under investigation for reporting fake acid attacks to the police.
“Police will deal with those trying to threaten the citizens’ security decisively, according to law. Therefore, those who intend to annoy others by spreading rumors…about acid attacks should know that they will be dealt with by the police,” he further noted.
Reports of a spate of recent acid attacks against women in the central city of Isfahan have triggered grave concerns among the Iranian public and led to widespread speculations in the press and social media.
Iranian authorities say security forces have arrested a number of suspects in connection with the attacks, but have not confirmed claims that the women were attacked because they were not dressed appropriately as required by the Islamic dress code.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani instructed three ministries on Thursday to step up efforts to find culprits behind the attacks.
Rouhani tasked the ministries of the interior, intelligence, and justice with launching an investigation into the sensitive case.
On October 20, Iranian Judiciary spokesman, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Eje’I, pledged serious and prompt action against the attacks.