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Iran arrests 8 ‘linked to CIA’

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DUBAI, Nov 27, (Agencies): Iranian security agents arrested at least eight people linked to the US Central Intelligence Agency during last week’s unrest over gasoline price hikes, the official news agency IRNA reported on Wednesday.

“These elements had received CIA funded training in various countries under the cover of becoming citizen-journalists,” IRNA quoted the Intelligence Ministry as saying. “Six were arrested while attending the riots and carrying out (CIA) orders and two while trying to … send information abroad.” Iran’s supreme leader on Wednesday claimed without evidence that recent protests across the Islamic Republic over government-set gasoline prices rising were part of a “conspiracy” involving the US, as authorities began to acknowledge the scale of the demonstrations.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the comment while addressing members of the Revolutionary Guard’s all-volunteer Basij force, which help put down the demonstrations.

Meanwhile, one lawmaker was quoted as saying authorities arrested more than 7,000 people over the protests while a security official claimed demonstrators attempted to take over Iranian state television.

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