Security sources said these arrested ringleaders who misused the Iranian people’s peaceful rallies to protest at the government’s decision to increase gasoline prices have the citizenship of Germany, Turkey and Afghanistan in addition to their Iranian nationality, and were equipped with some devices and instruments for conducting sabotage acts.
Security sources said these dual nationals have established links with foreign spy agencies, and told FNA that they had long time ago received necessary trainings for destruction of cities’ infrastructures, adding that they were financially supported by the foreign intelligence agencies.
Meantime, one of the arrested people confessed to ties with Masih Alinejad, an Iran-born anti-revolutionary journalist and activist based in Britain and the US, and was recording the riots to send the videos to her.
Also, on Sunday night, a team of security forces who were patrolling Tehran city after the riots identified and arrested a group of foreign nationals who had set fire on 5 banks within half an hour.
In a related front, Commander of Lorestan province’s Law Enforcement Police Brigadier General Haji Mohammad Mahdian Nasab said that a number of non-local outlaws have been arrested in the Western province, adding that police operations will continue until detention of the last rioter.
A security official said on Wednesday that some of the thugs arrested in the recent riots in the Central province of Isfahan have admitted their links to foreign intelligence services.
“A number of outlaws who wanted to misuse the popular protests and demands in Isfahan on Saturday were detained,” the official told FNA on condition of anonymity.
“The official added that the outlaws attempted to distort tranquility and public security in an organized way and have confessed their links with the foreign spy agencies after detention,” the official added.
The official lamented the huge damage inflicted on the province by the rioters, but said precise figures of the overal damages will be released later.
Another senior Iranian security official also said on Tuesday that thugs arrested during the recent riots confessed that they received $60 for each place set on fire.
“One such instance pertains to a number of thugs arrested in one of the provinces who were given an advance payment of 300,000 tomans (nearly $30) to stage an arson attack and another 300,000 tomans once they did the mission,” Commander of Hamedan province’s Law Enforcement Police Brigadier General Bakhsh Ali Kamrani Saleh said.
He underlined the necessity for increasing vigilance so that people’s righteous demands will not be misused by the rioters.
Iran’s Judiciary Spokesman Gholam Hossein Esmayeeli announced on Tuesday that calm had been restored to the country after the recent riots that started following the government’s gas price hike plan.
“Thanks to the Leader’s remarks, efforts by the security and Law Enforcement Police forces and people’s vigilance who separated their way from the ill-wishers and violence-seekers, calm has been restored in the country,” Esmayeeli told reporters in Tehran.
“A large number of saboteurs and rioters and those who set fire at public properties and played a role in the destructions have been identified,” he added.
Riots by a small number who had taken advantage of legitimate public protests against the government’s gas price hike plan in Iran were directed at sowing chaos through targeted attacks on public and private properties, forcing law enforcement to step in to stop saboteurs.
Early estimates of an intelligence body showed that a sum of nearly 87,000 protesters and rioters had taken part in protest rallies and gatherings since Friday night, mostly (over 93%) men. A large number of protesters had only been present in the gathering centers and avoided joining the rioters in sabotage attacks on public and private properties.
“The identical methods of the main core of violent rioters discloses that they are fully trained individuals who have been prepared and looking forward for the situation to rise, unlike most people who have been taken off guard by the sudden hike in gas price,” the report said.
The report showed that gatherings have been comprised of 50 to 1,500 people held in 100 regions of the country out of a number of 1,080 major towns and cities. The report says violent raids and damage inflicted on properties has been larger than what happened in February 2018 unrests.
Most cases of damage to properties had happened in Khuzestan, Tehran, Fars and Kerman provinces. The report says most casualties have resulted from armed outlaws’ attacks on oil storage and military centers, adding that a number of police and popular forces have been martyred in these attacks.
Nearly 1,000 people were arrested across the country while over 100 banks and 57 big stores were set on fire or plundered in just one province.
The Iranian intelligence ministry announced in a statement on Sunday that it had identified several rioters who misused the recent protest rallies against the gasoline price hikes to destroy public and private properties.
“The main culprits behind the riots in the past two days have been identified and proper measures are being adopted and the honorable nation will be informed about its result later,” the statement said.