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Russia Urges Citizens to Exercise Caution in Iran

Russia Urges Citizens to Exercise Caution in Iran

Wednesday, 3 January, 2018 - 13:00
People protest near the University of Tehran, Iran December 30, 2017 in this picture obtained from social media. (Reuters)

Russian Federation called upon its citizens in Iran and those planning to visit the country to exercise caution following the recent demonstrations in most Iranian cities.

Russia believes the protests are a result of dissatisfaction with the social and economic situations in the country and accused protesters of carrying weapons against the authorities.

The statement cautioning citizens was not issued by the Foreign Ministry, but rather came indirectly through the Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation.

It issued an alert saying the ministry warned against the large-scale protest movements in the streets of major Iranian cities, including Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan and Rasht.

The statement added that according to the ministry’s information, riots and clashes between protesters and police officers were recorded. The statement did not refer to the authorities’ violence against protests and said that "some demonstrators are carrying arms."

In light of these developments, the Federal Agency for Tourism advised Russian citizens in Iran and those planning to visit it, to be cautious and "to refrain as much as possible from visiting places where crowds of citizens are gathering."

The Federal Agency, in its statement, also called on tourism companies organizing trips to Iran to warn their clients of the current situation in the country and take into account the information about situations in Iranian cities.

Earlier, the Russian foreign ministry indicated that the current events are Iran’s internal affair, adding that "external interference destabilizing the situation is inadmissible.”

Senator Konstantin Kosachev, who also chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian parliament, said “external factors” have been involved in the protests, noting that Washington will seize every opportunity to destabilize Iran.

He also criticized US President Donald Trump’s statements about the protests.

“New year’s wave of protests in Iran, of course, in the first place is a symptom of certain internal political processes in the country. Socio-economic factors also influence the events, but they aren’t the worst in the region and in comparison with previous years for Iran,” Kosachev stated.

However, the senator made light of claims of a US role in the protests, saying he doubted that the US was that influential in Iran, stressing that Iran is not vulnerable to foreign interference.

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