The Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran wrote on Monday: “The Iranian resistance calls on international human rights bodies to strongly condemn the mullahs’ regime and to take immediate action to release the detainees. The mullahs’ regime, besieged by domestic and international crises, is deeply afraid of any protests and sparks that could ignite popular uprisings and try to prevent it by suppression, arrest and intimidation.”

The General Director of Security for the Khorasan Razavi province, Hossein Sherafati Rad, described those arrested as “overseas-related counter-revolutionary elements who had come to Mashhad from various parts of the country to foment protests, incite public opinion against the Islamic Republic, and create insecurity”.

While the state-run Fars news agency reported: “The detainees are from related counter-revolutionary groups overseas, they were associated with subversive groups, and they intended to design, organize and create intermittent disturbances in the city.”

This is a typical response from the Regime. They want to make these protesters seem like foreign interlopers so that they can present the false narrative that the Regime enjoys widespread support amongst the Iranian people.

If the Regime can do that, it can convince other governments not to support the people or their resistance, lest they seem like they are interfering in a foreign country. Other nations rarely want to be seen as the ones instigating regime change in a sovereign nation.

However, to be very clear, those protesting have not been influenced by foreign powers. They are driven by the true desires of the Iranian people to no longer live under the mullahs’ oppression. The Iranian people have been rising up to call for regime change since the end of 2017, and despite the mullahs’ best efforts, the protests have not ended. Workers have gone on strike, students have chanted outside their schools, and retirees have carried the picture of Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, during protests.

Rajavi has repeatedly called for an international delegation to visit political prisoners in Iran and take immediate action to release them.