Seven people with links to the UK have been arrested by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards after anti-government protests in the country, according to state media.
Protests have erupted in Iran in recent monthssparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, jailed after being arrested for wearing “inappropriate attire” according to Iran’s interpretation of the Islamic dress code.
According to Iranian state media, “Seven key leaders of recent UK-linked protests have been arrested by IRGC (Revolutionary Guard) intelligence, including dual nationals who were trying to leave the country.”
Teenager’s bravery offers ray of hope as violent crackdown and internet restrictions continue
The teammate of an Iranian footballer facing the death penalty speaks out
No other information, including what kind of ties those arrested have to the UK, has been released.
Sky News understands the Foreign Office is investigating the reports.
The protests have drawn people from all walks of life in the country to call for the collapse of Iran’s ruling government, which rules in the name of Islam – the biggest challenge to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution.
The government has blamed the protests on those intent on destroying public property, saying they were dragged in by the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
At least two people have been executed for taking part in the protests, with Amnesty International criticizing what it describes as “sham trials designed to intimidate those taking part in the popular uprising that has rocked Iran”.
Mosen Shekari was executed 9 December after being accused of blocking a street in Tehran and attacking a member of the country’s security forces with a machete, followed by second prisonerMajidreza Rahnavard, in connection with the protests.
Activists warn that at least a dozen people have been sentenced to death in closed hearings.
Last week, Taraneh Alidoosti, star of the Oscar-winning film The Salesman, was detained a week after posting on Instagram about the first man executed during the protests, according to reports.
The 38-year-old star wrote: “His name was Mohsen Shekari. Every international organization that watches this bloodbath and does not act is a disgrace to humanity.”
According to IRNA, the Islamic Republic’s official news agency, she was arrested after failing to provide “any document consistent with her claims”.