RFL/RE – Iran has summoned the British ambassador to Tehran, accusing U.K. officials of trying to provoke further unrest in the country amid a wave of protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini after she was detained for Islamic dress-code violations over the way she was wearing a hijab.
Officials in Iran have tried to portray more than two weeks of anti-government demonstrations that have spread across the country as a foreign plot.
The Foreign Ministry in Tehran said in a statement that British officials were interfering in Iran’s internal affairs and had made comments showing it is one of the countries involved in “anti-Iranian activities.”
There was no immediate comment from the British ambassador or government officials in London on the matter.
After a summer of sporadic protests over poor living conditions, water shortages, and economic hardships, a new wave of unrest was unleashed in Iran following Amini’s death on September 16.
Three days before she died, Amini was taken into custody by Iran’s morality police for the alleged “improper wearing” of a hijab.
Officials say the 22-year-old died of a heart attack, but relatives said Amini had no history of illness and was healthy when detained.
Eyewitness accounts of the arrest say she was beaten by security officials.
Since then, anti-government protests have gained strength and broadened to include many parts of the country.
On October 3, President Ebrahim Raisi appealed for national unity while admitting “weaknesses and shortcomings” in the country.
But he also echoed other officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in blaming the United States, Israel, and the West for inciting the unrest.