Iran's foreign ministry said Monday the arrests of citizens linked to the UK reflected Britain's "destructive role" in the recent antigovernment protests.
Iran has accused Western countries, Israel and Saudi Arabia of fomenting the unrest by people from all walks of life in the country, one of the most sustained challenges to the country's ruling theocracy since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Asked by a reporter to comment on Sunday's announcement in Tehran of the arrest of seven people linked to Britain, foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said: "Some countries, especially the one you mentioned, had an unconstructive role regarding the recent developments in Iran.
"Their role was totally destructive and incited the riots."
London’s Metropolitan police detained a man Monday near the office of Iran International under the Terrorism Act after warnings in November that elements connected with Tehran’s intelligence services were trying to target the network’s journalists.
Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Sunday that the seven, including some who held dual nationality, were arrested over anti-government protests that have rocked the country for over three months.
The British foreign ministry had said it was seeking further information from Iranian authorities on the reports that British-Iranian dual nationals had been arrested.
Tehran's allegations of foreign involvement in the protests have been accompanied by arrests of dozens of dual nationals, part of an official narrative designed to shift the blame away from the Iranian leadership.