Iran accuses Israel and western intelligence services of trying to start civil war

Country has been in turmoil for more than two months following death of Mahsa Amini

Iran's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hossein Amirabdollahian, says the country's rivals have 'targeted the integrity of Iran and Iranian identity'. Reuters
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Iran on Thursday accused Israel and western intelligence services of plotting to start a civil war in the country.

The claim was made a day after seven people were killed in the south-western city of Izeh.

The country's state media described it as a "terrorist attack".

"Various security services, Israel and some western politicians who have made plans for civil war, destruction and the disintegration of Iran, should know that Iran is not Libya or Sudan," Iran's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hossein Amirabdollahian, said on Twitter.

He said the public would not fall for such plans.

"Today, enemies have targeted the integrity of Iran and Iranian identity. The wisdom of the people will disappoint the enemy," he said.

Authorities in Tehran have for weeks accused western powers of stoking nationwide protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman.

She died in the custody of the morality police after being arrested for breaching the country's strict dress code for women.

On Wednesday, Iran said it arrested French and Israeli intelligence agents linked to the protest movement.

European states have accused Iran of threats against their citizens.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Tehran was acting increasingly aggressively towards the country, destabilising the region as a result.

"I see an increasing aggressiveness from Iran towards us with its unacceptable hostage taking [and] a regional aggressiveness ... with extremely aggressive acts in the last few days on Iraqi soil," Mr Macron said after the G20 leaders' summit in Indonesia.

On Wednesday, Iran's judiciary gave death sentences to three protesters in Tehran for committing "corruption on earth" and "waging war on God", state media reported.

The protesters can appeal against the verdicts.

Updated: November 17, 2022, 10:34 AM