BBC Persia claimed an unnamed source as saying on the condition of anonymity that 10 members of Basij (volunteer) forces had been arrested overnight in Southwestern Tehran in connection with the recent cases of riots in Iran.
An hour later the Judiciary, the Intelligence Ministry, the Law Enforcement Police, and the IDIRGC all dismissed the claim.
BBC Persia continues anti-Iran propaganda after decades of operation.
In 1953, the British government used the BBC Persian service for advancing its propaganda against the legal government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq in favor of strengthening the monarchical rule of the dethroned King, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
Anti-Mosaddeq material were repeatedly aired on the radio channel to the extent that the Iranian staff at the BBC Persian radio went on strike to protest the move.
In a documentary Cinematograph aired on 18 August 2011 on the anniversary of the coup, the BBC admitted for the first time to the role of BBC Persian radio as the propaganda arm of the British government in Iran. The Cinematograph narrator said, “The British government used the BBC Persian radio for advancing its propaganda against Mosaddeq and anti-Mosaddeq material were repeatedly aired on the radio channel to the extent that Iranian staff at the BBC Persian radio went on strike to protest the move.”
The documentary quoted a 21 July 1951 classified document in which a Foreign Office official thanked the British ambassador for his proposals that were precisely followed by the BBC Persian radio to strengthen its propaganda against Mosaddeq: “The BBC had already made most of the points which you listed, but they were very glad to have an indication from you of what was likely to be most effective and will arrange their program accordingly… We should also avoid direct attacks on the ‘ruling classes’ since it seems probable that we may want to deal with a government drawn from those classes should Mosaddeq fall.”
In January 2018, former British Ambassador to Tehran Nicholas Hopton expressed concern about the way his country’s media outlets have covered the recent riots and unrest in Iran, and implied that some British media did not respect London’s official policy of non-interference in Iran’s affairs.
His remarks came after the mainstream media in the West, specially BBC, gave a wide coverage to the economic protests in a few Iranian towns that each comprised of a few hundred protesters, but none covered the massive pro-government rallies held in different cities and towns.
BBC’s Persian service even sought hard to incite riots in those cities and towns where people were out to chant slogans about their economic grievances. BBC’s world service, including its BBC Persian, is funded by the foreign office.
On Wednesday, Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi underlined that none of the IRGC and Basij forces who stood against the outlaws in the recent riots were armed.
“In the recent incidents, not even one of the IRGC and Basij forces was carrying weapons. We went to the towns without arms while there were many weapons pointed at us,” Rear Admiral Fadavi said, addressing a forum in Tehran.
He, meantime, said the IRGC and Basij were keeping arms at their bases as usual and when the rioters attacked them, the IRGC and Basij forces defended themselves.
“But in the streets, we controlled everything comprehensively. Even we had live contacts with all parts of the country and received all images (live),” Rear Admiral Fadavi said.
Iran’s Judiciary Spokesman Gholam Hossein Esmayeeli said on Tuesday that armed rioters and outlaws wounded and killed a number of people and policemen during the recent unrests after the protest rallies against the gasoline rationing.
“It is confirmed that a considerable number of people have been killed by the outlaws and many officers who were trying to establish order have also been wounded by the weapons of these outlaws too,” Esmayeeli told reporters in a press conference in Tehran.
He, meantime, said that the number of individuals killed in the recent riots is less than what some foreign parties claim, “as they name people who have died in other incidents that are different from the recent riots and many of those people claimed to be killed are alive”.
Esmayeeli said arson attacks and plundering the banks and stores and killing of innocent people and police officers were all carried out by the hooligans who were affiliated to the anti-revolutionary and dissident groups and were supported by the foreign spy agencies.
He underlined that the judiciary differentiates between the protestors against the gasoline prices and the outlaws, adding that most of the detained people during the recent unrests have been freed.
“300 people are still in detention in Tehran,” Esmayeeli said, adding that the number is still to decrease.
In relevant remarks on Monday, Head of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ Public Relations Department and IRGC Spokesman Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif said rioters that destroyed public and private properties in the recent unrests in Iran were utilizing complex tools and instruments.
“The outlaws used the most equipped tools and most professional methods in the recent sedition,” General Sharif said, addressing a forum in the Central city of Arak.
He noted that the riots were fomented in Iran after the country succeeded in defeating the ISIL terrorist group, the resistance front gained great victories and the IRGC shot down an intruder US spy plane over the Iranian territories on June 20.
“The enemies are seeking to make up [for their failure] after every success Iran earns,” General Sharif said.
On November 15, the government raised Iran’s extremely cheap gas price in order to moderate the national consumption rate, which stands at 110 million liters per day, 40 million liters above the maximum domestic requirement.
The government also announced a number of aid and subsidiary programs to protect vulnerable households from the adverse effects of the measure.
The price reform, required by Iranian legislature and essential as US-imposed sanctions seek to deplete Iran’s budgetary resources, had been long delayed due to concerns regarding the move’s probable backlash.
The measure’s adoption prompted initially peaceful protests, but riotous elements, abusing the situation, quickly entered the scene, destroying public property, setting ablaze banks and gas stations among other facilities, and opening fire on people and security forces.
Intelligence reports and eye-witness accounts showed that the rioters who had taken advantage of public protests against gasoline price hikes to stir chaos in the country were armed with different weapons.
The protest rallies of Iranian people against the gasoline rationing turned violent since the first hours of the gatherings after the rioters used weapons.
In Sirjan city in the Southern province of Kerman, for instance, armed hooligans were about to detonate gasoline tanks, and almost made it if it hadn’t been for the immediate presence of the police troops on the scene.
Security and police reports said the large number of weapons in the hands of the outlaws and rioters which had turned the scene of protests into a battlefield was one of the main features of the unrests.
Investigations showed that most people shot in riots were targeted from behind or the sides from a short range and from among protestors.
Also, reports by the security bodies and witnesses indicated that many of the bullets were fired from inside the protesting crowd and with weapons not registered at official bodies.
Iranian Government Spokesman Ali Rabiyee announced last Monday that rioters used cold weapons and firearms during unrests in some cities and towns, killing and wounding a number of police forces.
“Based on reports, the rioters have repeatedly used cold weapons and firearms in some cities,” Rabiyee told reporters in a press conference in Tehran.
Also, Commander of the Law Enforcement Police in Kurdistan province Brigadier General Ali Azadi announced that his forces had arrested 25 ringleaders of the recent riots, and seized 3 rifles from them.
“25 ringleaders and main culprits behind the riots in the two cities of Marivan and Sanandaj have been detained in coordination with the judicial officials and 3 firearms and some cold weapons have been discovered and seized from them,” General Azadi said on Sunday.
Late last month, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said that Tehran had successfully thwarted an attempt by a small group of foreign-backed rioters to set oil facilities on fire in the iconic Persian Gulf port city of Assaluyeh, adding that the attack was meant to be in retaliation for Yemenis’ bombardment of the Saudi oil sites in September.
He added that during the recent unrests in the country, which came after the government’s decision to substantially increase the gas price, some rioters tried to attack the iconic Persian Gulf port city of Assaluyeh in the South of Iran.
“The attack on Assaluyeh had been planned by the enemy,” according to Shamkhani.
The top Iranian security official added, “the enemy appeared to be seeking to avenge what Yemen Ansarullah did in attacking Saudi facilities, but it failed”.