RNA - "The distorters (of security) who stood against the police in the recent unrests were guided by foreigners and they used (hike in) gasoline (prices) as a pretext," General Ashtari said in the Southern city of Shoush on Tuesday.
He, meantime, underlined establishment of security and tranquility in the country, saying that a number of rioters have been arrested and a number of others will be identified and detained in the next few days.
In relevant remarks earlier today, Iran's Judiciary Spokesman Gholam Hossein Esmayeeli said arson attacks and plundering the banks and stores and killing of innocent people and police officers were all carried out by the hooligans who were affiliated to the anti-revolutionary and dissident groups and were supported by the foreign spy agencies.
On November 15, the government raised Iran’s extremely cheap gas price in order to moderate the national consumption rate, which stands at 110 million liters per day, 40 million liters above the maximum domestic requirement.
The government also announced a number of aid and subsidiary programs to protect vulnerable households from the adverse effects of the measure.
The price reform, required by Iranian legislature and essential as US-imposed sanctions seek to deplete Iran's budgetary resources, had been long delayed due to concerns regarding the move's probable backlash.
The measure's adoption prompted initially peaceful protests, but riotous elements, abusing the situation, quickly entered the scene, destroying public property, setting ablaze banks and gas stations among other facilities, and opening fire on people and security forces.
Intelligence reports and eye-witness accounts showed that the rioters who had taken advantage of public protests against gasoline price hikes to stir chaos in the country were armed with different weapons.
The protest rallies of Iranian people against the gasoline rationing turned violent since the first hours of the gatherings after the rioters used weapons.