TEHRAN, Iran — An Iranian intelligence officer has claimed that the United States and France are among some 20 countries involved in nationwide protests last year sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini.
The demonstrations erupted following the September 16 death in custody of Kurdish-Iranian Amini, 22, after her arrest for allegedly violating Iran’s strict dress code for women.
Hundreds of people were killed, including dozens of security personnel, and thousands were arrested in connection with what officials labeled “riots” which they said were fomented by foreign countries after Amini’s death.
“Investigations carried out by the intelligence services of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) indicate that around 20 countries were involved in the riots,” said the head of the services, General Mohammad Kazemi.
Kazemi alleged that the US, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Belgium, Italy, and Iran’s arch-foe Israel were among the countries involved in inciting the protests, according to excerpts of an interview published by state media.
Saudi Arabia, with which Iran has recently resumed diplomatic ties after a seven-year rupture, and the United Arab Emirates were also involved, he said in the interview with the website of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Many of the countries he listed had publicly expressed their support for the protests and imposed sanctions against Iran and its security forces for cracking down on the demonstrators.
Kazemi also alleged that Emirati and Israeli intelligence agencies held “periodic meetings in an Arab country to back the troubles” in Iran, without elaborating.
Likewise, he said, French diplomats based in Tehran “gathered information on the ground regarding the riots and the [Iranian] security forces.”
The United States, Britain, and the European Union have imposed several rounds of sanctions on Iran over its response to the protest movement.