Iran, which has blamed “foreign enemies” for protests that swept the country after the death of a woman in morality police custody, said on Friday it had arrested nine European nationals for their role in the unrest.
The detention of citizens of Germany, Poland, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and other countries is likely to ratchet up tensions between Iran and Western countries over the death of Mahsa Amini.
The escalation comes as more casualties were reported. Nineteen people were killed after security forces fired on armed protesters attacking a police station, said an official.
Tehran has responded to international condemnation of the case by lashing out at its critics, accusing the United States of exploiting the unrest to try to destabilize Iran.
The nine unidentified people were detained “during the riots or while plotting in the background,” the Intelligence Ministry said in a statement carried by Iranian media.