“Around 100 of the senior and junior ringleaders as well as the principal elements behind the recent disturbances have been identified and arrested by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) at various spots across the country,” Gholam-Hossein Esmaili said on Friday.
The official was remarking on the sidelines of a visit he was making of Tehran’s Evin Detention Facility alongside the capital’s Prosecutor-General Ali Alqasi-Mehr, during which they inspected the situation of the detainees and spoke to some of them.
The spokesman hailed that the unrest had ended and “calm restored to the country under Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei’s directions, and as a result of the separation of the ranks of the people and the rioters, and the effort expended by the security and law enforcement forces.”
The Iranian government raised gasoline prices last week in order to moderate the national consumption rate, which stands at 110 million liters per day, 40 million liters per day above the maximum domestic requirement.
The move prompted some peaceful protests, but riotous elements, abusing the situation, quickly entered the scene, destroying public property, setting ablaze banks and gas stations among other facilities, and opening fire on people and security forces.
There have been reports of fatalities among both security forces and civilians in different locations, with an official tally not available yet.
On Wednesday, Iranians buried a serviceman and a civilian killed at the hands of the rioters.
Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi has appointed a special committee to pursue the whole matter, tasking its members to personally visit the appointed detention centers, the official said, noting that his underway joint visit together with the prosecutor general had been undertaken within the framework of the committee’s mission. Tehran’s Public and Islamic Revolution Courthouses have been appointed to conduct the legal proceedings arising from the cases, Esmaili noted.
According to the spokesman, a considerably higher number of people have been similarly identified by Iran’s Intelligence Ministry in connection with the riots. Some of these have been arrested or are about to be placed in detention, he announced.
He noted that all the suspects, who come under arrest as part of the country’s efforts to address the riots, would go through a screening process that identifies potentially blameless arrestees or those with little involvement in the disturbances. All the detainees, the official said, are, meanwhile, provided with the full range of their legal entitlements as the Judiciary chief has advised.
According to the spokesperson, the arrestees include those serving foreign interests, organized elements, and hooligans with multiple criminal records, who had amassed firearms, cutlasses, and incendiary materials to foment unrest.