Iran says it delivered ‘serious blow’ to network seeking to spark riots
Iran's intelligence apparatuses have delivered a "serious blow" to a network seeking to organize riots across the country.
The operation was conducted jointly by the country's Intelligence Ministry and the Intelligence Organization of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), the bodies announced in a statement on Wednesday.
The operation managed to "identify and deal a blow to some members of the riot organization network" on the back of joint intelligence work carried out by the bodies' operatives, read the statement.
The network's members were being funded by the United States State Department and led by the Freedom House, a Washington-based so-called political advocacy group, and the Nonviolent Initiative for Democracy, a Massachusetts-based anti-Iran organization, it noted.
Directed by "a foreign-based political element," the members were seeking to mobilize "women so that they could play a role in [fomenting] riots."
As a means of furthering its goals, the network would conduct free courses for some foreign- and Iran-based alleged "women rights and civil society activists."
The network held its last workshop for foreign-based so-called activists at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at London University earlier this year, with "one of the correspondents of anti-Iran media outlets" as instructor.
It had also planned to hold a "secret online course" over two days throughout September, involving a number of "activists."
"The courses had sought to create the [necessary] preparation and devise agendas" for Iran-based rioters, the statement concluded.
The network's dismantlement came on the anniversary of riots that spread out throughout the country last September following the unfortunate death that month of a young girl named Mahsa Amini.
Amini fainted at a police station and was pronounced dead days later at a Tehran hospital. An investigation attributed her death to a medical condition, dismissing allegations that she had been beaten by police forces.
Iran says the 2022 riots were the result of foreign-backed elements exploiting the incident.