Iranian authorities have arrested key members of a group planning to cause unrest at university campuses in Iran, the country’s intelligence ministry said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
The “counterrevolutionary” group’s plans to cause a disruption during celebrations of Students’ Day, celebrated on 7 December, were foiled thanks to the vigilance of committed students and relevant institutions, the ministry stated.
Iran has been experiencing widespread protests since mid-November, which began over a sharp hike in fuel prices. The unrest led Iranian authorities to temporarily shut down the country’s Internet. Prominent rights group Amnesty International placed the death toll at 208 on Monday.
While Iran’s state-run IRIB broadcaster previously reported that law enforcement forces had identified and detained about 180 leaders of the riots, head of Iran’s Prisons Organisation Asghar Jahangir also announced that a significant number of people who were apprehended during the unrest have now been released.
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani and other Iranian leaders have blamed the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia for financially supporting and training protesters.