Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Saturday detained a dual national suspected of organizing “riots and unrest” in the country, state media reported, amid an increased security presence to curb protests a year after the death of a young Kurdish woman in police custody.

“The mentioned person had brought several smartphones, SIM cards, and a sum of dollars,” IRNA reported, adding that the suspect was arrested by the IRGC’s intelligence organization in the city of Karaj, about 50 kilometers west of the capital Tehran.

The dual national, whose second country was unidentified, was accused of “trying to organize riots and unrest,” IRNA added.

Iran has previously sought to undermine the protest movement by claiming that foreign powers, particularly Israel and the US, are behind the unrest.

There are a number of dual and foreign nationals being held in Iranian prisons on charges of spying for foreign governments, with rights groups accusing Tehran of using them as bargaining chips to gain concessions from world powers.

The arrest comes amid heightened security in Tehran as security forces attempt to thwart planned protests on the anniversary of the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Zhina (Mahsa) Amini in custody of Iran’s morality police.

Amini was arrested on September 16 for allegedly wearing a lax hijab. Her subsequent mysterious death sparked nationwide protests that posed the biggest threat to the Iranian regime in 40 years. Protesters chanting “Jin Jiyan Azadi” (Women, Life, Freedom) began by calling for greater freedoms, the movement grew into an antigovernment revolution as the authorities initiated a brutal crackdown with violence. Hundreds of people were killed and thousands arrested.

For weeks in the lead up to the anniversary of Amini’s death, scores of family members of protesters who were killed were arrested or warned not to hold any commemoration event, and security forces have been deployed across restive provinces.

On Saturday, Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, which reports human rights violations in Iran’s western Kurdish areas, reported that Iranian security forces had opened fire on protesters in a neighborhood in Saqqez, the birthplace of Amini, while surveillance drones patrolled the skies.

A large scale security presence was also seen in other Kurdish-majority areas in Iran, Hengaw said.

On Tuesday, Iran’s judiciary said that it had detained a Swedish national for “committing crimes in the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

The arrest also comes as Iran and the United States prepare to undertake a Qatar-mediated prisoner exchange, with will include five prisoners freed on both sides as well as the unfreezing of $6 billion of Iranian funds held in South Korea.

Source » rudaw