Roughly 3,700 people were arrested during recent anti-government protests in Iran, one of the country’s lawmakers claimed on Tuesday.
The number is far higher than the 450 people Iranian authorities previously said were detained. US officials had put the number held at 1,000.
Tehran member of parliament Mahmoud Sadeghi said Tuesday that 3,700 people had been arrested, including 40 to 68 students, in six days of protests that broke out in late December.
He added that “due to the fact that several security organizations had made the arrests, it will take some time to give an accurate count,” according to the Iranian parliament’s news agency.
The new figures come as Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tuesday that the country had struggled for 40 years against attacks on “the revolution” and would not be daunted now. He made the remarks during a speech commemorating protests against the Shah of Iran in 1978.
“Revolution politically uprooted the enemy and now the enemy continues these attacks but always fails and cannot achieve its goals,” said Khamenei in a speech made before thousands in Tehran, according to the semi-official MEHR News agency.
“This is due to our people’s continued support. The solid people’s stand will again tell the US, UK and those who live in London that you failed this time and will fail again.”
UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson told the British Parliament Tuesday that “it is vital that the people of Iran and government of Iran should understand that we in this country support right to peaceful demo within the law.” He also urged the UK’s “friends in the White House not to throw away” a nuclear deal with Iran that Trump has pledged to decertify.