UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Iranian authorities have arrested eight people “linked to the CIA,” during demonstrations that broke out across the country against the decision to raise fuel prices, the official IRNA news agency reported.
The agency, quoting an Iranian security ministry official, said on Wednesday that a number of “elements linked to the US intelligence service” had been arrested. It quoted the official as saying that “a number of elements that were working to collect information about the riots and transferred out of the country and made available to foreigners, were spotted and arrested before they do this.”
Six of those arrested “were present (where the riots occurred) and were carrying out the agendas of the intelligence service,” the agency said.
Two others were “collecting information for transfer abroad,” she said.
The agency said that the detainees were trained “to collect information under the cover of” citizen journalist “in different countries and funded by the US intelligence service.”
The United States said on Tuesday it had received thousands of letters from the Islamic Republic related to the demonstrations, including photographs and videos, after it invited them to defy Internet access restrictions.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “We have so far received about 20,000 letters, photos, videos and information about violations committed by the (Iranian) regime through the application of Telegram.”
The unrest sparked by the rise in gasoline prices came a year and a half after US President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Amnesty International said on Monday that at least 143 demonstrators had been killed in the Iranian security crackdown since 15 November.
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