Iran General NewsIran says foreign nationals among protest detainees

Iran says foreign nationals among protest detainees

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ImageAFP: Iran has arrested several foreign nationals in bloody anti-government protests last week that left at least eight people dead, Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi said on Monday. ImageTEHRAN (AFP) — Iran has arrested several foreign nationals in bloody anti-government protests last week that left at least eight people dead, Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi said on Monday.

"Some of the detainees are foreign nationals pursuing propaganda and psychological warfare," Moslehi said on state television.

"They had entered Iran only two days before Ashura. Their cameras and equipment have been seized," he added, without specifying how many had been arrested or their nationality.

Iranian police are still holding 300 of the 500 people they arrested in Tehran on December 27, when opposition supporters staged protests during the Shiite religious commemoration of Ashura.

Police said other security agencies had also detained protesters.

One of the foreigners arrested was an Iran-based Syrian journalist working for Dubai TV and a pro-government website Rajanews said a "British citizen, who was carrying his passport, was arrested while attacking mourners… in central Tehran."

Iran's foreign ministry could not confirm the Rajanews report.

French researcher Clotilde Reiss, 24, was arrested in late June and put on trial for allegedly taking part in protests that followed the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

She was freed on bail in August and has since been staying at the French embassy awaiting the outcome of her case.

Ahmadinejad has accused the United States and Israel of staging the opposition protests during the Ashura rituals.

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