Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has arrested 12 alleged members of a Europe-linked group accused of planning sabotage in the country, Tasnim news agency said.
The Islamic Republic has been rocked for more than two months in what it claims are instigated by the United States, its allies and foreign-based opposition groups.
Street riots erupted in mid-September after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman of Kurdish origin, died in Tehran’s morality police custody.
In a statement quoted by Tasnim, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Markazi province, southwest of Tehran, said it had arrested a “network of 12 members with international ties”.
They claimed they were conducting “activities contrary to national security” “under the leadership of counter-revolutionary operatives residing in Germany and the Netherlands”.
They added that they were “trying to procure weapons and intend to carry out acts of vandalism” but were captured before they could do so.
“The riot project has failed,” the security guard’s statement said, referring to nationwide protests sparked by Amini’s death.
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However, it warned that sabotage would continue and called for “the vigilance of loyal people, especially shopkeepers, students and workers.”
As part of the protest, it appears to be calling for a three-day strike that culminates on Wednesday’s “Student Day.”
An Iranian general said last week that more than 300 people, including dozens of security personnel, were killed in the unrest.
The Oslo-based non-governmental organization Iran Human Rights said at least 448 people were “killed by security forces in the ongoing nationwide protests”.
Thousands were arrested, including prominent Iranian actors and football players.