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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Sami Quadri

Seven people with British links arrested in Iran over protests

A newspaper with a cover picture of Mahsa Amini, who died after being arrested by Iranian morality police

(Picture: VIA REUTERS)

Seven people with links to Britain have been arrested by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards for taking part in recent anti-government protests, according to reports.

The people arrested, some of whom are dual nationals, were detained while trying to leave Iran amid the protests in the country since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.

The UK’s Foreign Office is seeking further information from the Iranian authorities on reports that British-Iranian dual nationals have been arrested following protests in the country.

The statement that was published by the Iranian state media read: “Seven main leaders of the recent protests related to the UK were detained by intelligence services of the IRGC [Revolutionary Guards], including dual nationals, who were trying to leave the country.”

The protests began when Ms Amini died while being held by the morality police for allegedly not wearing a headscarf in September.

She was travelling to Tehran to visit relatives when she detained by the morality police for breaching hijab rules. She died days later while in police custody.

Protests over her death have spiralled into the regime’s biggest since it came to power in the 1979 revolution.

Security forces have killed more than 500 protesters and arrested over 18,000, according to Human Rights Activists in Iran, a group that has been closely monitoring the unrest.

During Commons Liaison Committee, Rishi Sunak described the behaviour of the country’s security forces as “abhorrent”.

He added: “Whilst Russia and Ukraine remains our number one foreign policy challenge as we go into the new year, I am increasingly concerned about Iran’s behaviour and the treatment of their citizens, what they’re doing in the region which is destabilising and indeed the nuclear programme.”

Earlier this month one of Iran’s most famous actresses was arrested for criticising the execution of an anti-regime protester.

Taraneh Alidoosti, star of Oscar-winning 2016 film The Salesman, was charged with “spreading falsehoods” about the demonstrations rocking the country.

It came a week after the 38-year-old - a vocal critic of the government’s clampdown - alerted her eight million Instagram followers to the hanging of Mohsen Shekari, 23, who was accused of rioting.

Taraneh added: “Every international organisation who is watching this bloodshed and not taking action is a disgrace to humanity.”

Her account and Twitter profile were taken down and state news agency IRNA said she was arrested for failing to provide “any documents in line with her claims”.

A second person, Majidreza Rahnavard, was also executed by the regime for allegedly stabbing two security officials.

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