– Iran, which has blamed “foreign adversaries” for protests sparked by the death of a woman in morality police custody, said on Tuesday 40 foreign nationals had been arrested for their role in the unrest.

The Islamic Republic has been gripped by nationwide protests since the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in morality police custody on Sept. 16 after she was arrested for wearing clothes deemed “inappropriate”.

“So far, 40 foreign nationals have been arrested for their involvement in the protests,” Iran‘s judiciary spokesman Masoud Setayeshi told a televised news conference, without revealing their nationalities.

In September, Tehran said nine Europeans had been arrested for their involvement in the protests.

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Tehran has blamed foreign enemies and their agents for orchestrating the protests, which have turned into a popular revolt by Iranians from all layers of society, posing one of the boldest challenges to the clerical rulers since the 1979 revolution.

(Reporting by Elwely Elwelly;Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Alex Richardson)

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