The figure is much higher than previously believed, with most arrests taking place during demonstrations in districts of Vali-abad and Siah-mansour.

The protests began on February 14 in anger at a TV series broadcast on a state-run network that they say is racist and insulting to their people.

The series entitled ‘The OldLand’ is a history of Iran from the 1940s to the mullahs seizing power in Iran in 1978. But the Bakhtiari claim it distorts historical facts about their tribes.

In Dezful, protesters waved banners reading, ‘We are original Iranians and we do not accept humiliation’, while 600 city residents also gathered to call for the resignation of the head of state-run TV and radio network.

Youths also smashed the windows of at least 30 vehicles belonging to security units, and clashed with a unit of ‘NOPO’ – special forces dedicated to Khamenei.

Fearing the spread of a public uprising, the Iranian regime executed at least 30 prisoners in response to the Bakhatiari protests.

Mullahs later announced that state-run TV had stopped broadcasting the series.

The Bakhtiari are a south-western Lurish tribe, who speak the south-western Bakhtiari dialect, belonging to the Luri language. They played a key role in the advent of the country’s Constitutional Revolution from 1905 to 1907.