Iran says it detained European spy leading protests
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Iran says it detained European spy leading protests

Head of justice department in western city of Boroujerd claims suspect, who allegedly led rioters, received training by foreign spy agencies

Iranian anti-riot police officers confronting people during an anti-government protest in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009. (AP)
Iranian anti-riot police officers confronting people during an anti-government protest in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009. (AP)

TEHRAN, Iran — A European citizen was detained on espionage allegations after allegedly leading rioters during anti-government protests, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency said Wednesday.

The report quoted Hamid Reza Abolhasani, head of the justice department in the western city of Boroujerd, as saying the suspect was trained by European spy agencies, without elaborating.

There have been no reports of protests in Boroujerd in recent days.

Anti-government protests have erupted in several towns and cities in Iran over the past week. Clashes have broken out at some demonstrations, and at least 21 people have been killed. Hundreds have been arrested.

Iranian officials have long accused the United States, Israel and Britain of plotting to overthrow the government.

Telegram and Instagram were blocked on cellphones soon after the protests began on December 28.

President Hassan Rouhani expressed hope in a Wednesday phone call with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the protests would end in a few days, a Turkish presidential source said.

AFP contributed to this report.

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