The Islamic Republic has arrested many foreign tourists who took photographs from the ongoing protests in Iran.
The chairman of the board of Iran's Tourist Guide Association said on Monday that the detainees have been taking photos “out of curiosity.”
Mohsen Haji Saeed expressed regret over this approach by the Islamic Republic, saying “all the tourists, who are seen in the wrong places, are not necessarily spies.”
He made the comments in a meeting of several lawmakers with tourism activists on Sunday in Tehran.
“Those who are responsible to provide security in the country should be told that the security of tourists and its international repercussions are important,” added Haji Saeed, highlighting that this issue has become a vital demand for tourism and lawmakers should help change “the wave that has been generated against Iran” in other countries in recent months.
These statements were made as the government has not published any information about tourists being arrested in recent protests.
Iran’s Intelligence Ministry announced the detention of nine non-Iranian citizens from Germany, Poland, Italy, France, the Netherlands and Sweden on September 30. Then the ministry called the antigovernment protests in Iran "riots" alleging the arrested were "on the stage or behind the scenes" of the recent protests.
According to ISNA News Agency, the impact of the protests on the tourism industry in Iran was one of the topics raised in this meeting.