'Foreign sources are to blame for inciting Iranians to stage violent anti-government rallies in the Islamic Republic under the guise of protests against economic woes, says an Iranian Interior Ministry official.
Interior Ministry spokesman, Salman Samani, said on Sunday that the bulk of calls for protest rallies in Iran over the past month had originated from outside the country.
Elaborating about the role of social media campaigns for illegal demonstrations in Iran, Samani said, “Those parties circulating such messages expected to win approval in many cities, but in practice, we saw limited cases of demonstrations.”
The official added that only a handful of people were influenced by such propaganda and attended unlawful protests in a few cities.
Investigations reveal that the “main elements provoking” unrest in Iran are mostly individuals that do not care about the economic problems and only “seek to foment chaos by taking advantage of the conditions regarding the price hikes and livelihood problems,” Samani said.
The Iranian official gave an assurance that efforts were underway to control the protests and handle the situation with “minimum tensions and through dialogue,” adding that authorities were "determined to resolve people’s livelihood problems and ensure economic stability."
The comments came after limited protests were held in the Iranian cities of Shiraz, Isfahan, Ahvaz and Karaj over the past few days against economic conditions. The protests have been largely described as peaceful without any major instance of violence.'
Read more: Calls for protests in Iran orchestrated from outside: Interior ministry official