In an interview with NPR, Amirabdollahian said during the riots that broke out in Iran in mid-September police forces were “not allowed to carry out firearms,” although the tensions were high.
He said the figures of “tens of thousands” of arrests given by media are “not accurate,” and that all those detained for having played a role in riots were freed on a decree issued by Leader of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei last week, “save for those who have committed murder, or other serious crimes.”
The foreign minister also denied that university students had been arrested on campuses.
“No student whatsoever was detained at the universities or premises of the universities during the riots. In fact, those who were detained were people who played a role in the riots on the streets,” he said.
Amirabdollahian also said that “an important part of democracy in Iran” is that people “can freely voice their ideas.”
When pressed by the interviewer about reports of journalists having been arrested, Amirabdollahian said, “No journalist was detained during riots,” referring to five months of riots and protests sparked by the death in custody of an Iranian woman in September last year.