DUBAI, Nov 16 (Reuters) – Several French intelligence agents were arrested in relation to protests in Iran, the country’s Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi told state TV on Wednesday, as anti-government demonstrations persist throughout the country.
The Islamic Republic has accused Western foes of stoking nationwide protests ignited by the death of Iranian Kurdish young woman Mahsa Amini on Sept. 16 in the custody of the morality police.
“People of other nationalities were arrested in the riots, some of whom played a big role. There were elements from the French intelligence agency and they will be dealt with according to the law,” Vahidi said.
France’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Last week, France’s Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said a total of seven French nationals were detained in Iran.
Iran is being increasingly aggressive towards France by detaining its citizens, France’s president said on Wednesday, adding that Tehran was also destabilising the region with aggressive actions.
“I see an increasing aggressiveness from Iran towards us with its unacceptable hostage taking (and) a regional aggressiveness ..with extremely aggressive acts in the last few days on Iraqi soil,” Emmanuel Macron told reporters at the end of a G20 leaders summit in Indonesia.
“I urge Iran to return to calm and a spirit of cooperation. I call it to respect regional stability and also French citizens.”
At least two people were killed and 10 wounded on Monday when rockets and drones hit the headquarters of Iranian Kurdish parties in the autonomous Kurdish region of neighbouring Iraq. Iran‘s semi-official Fars news said the country’s Revolutionary Guards had attacked the bases of “terrorist groups” there.
(Reporting by Dubai Newsroom, additional reporting by John Irish; Editing by Toby Chopra, Alexandra Hudson)
(Reporting by Dubai Newsroom, additional reporting by John Irish; Editing by Toby Chopra)