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Iran pledges crushing response to terrorist, hostile groups

Intelligence Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mahmoud Alavi says the country’s security forces will soon give a “crushing response” to terrorists and groups hostile to the Islamic Republic operating in the region.

Iranian youths will thwart enemies’ vicious plots through their acts of bravery, Alavi said in the northwestern city of Urmia in West Azarbaijan province on Saturday, Press TV reported.

He added that the security forces would not allow enemies to undermine the country’s security.

The minister promised that terrorist groups would fail to weaken the Iranian people’s determination.

On December 28, a number of protests over economic problems broke out in several cities, but the gatherings turned violent when groups of participants, some of them armed, vandalized public property and launched attacks on police stations and government buildings.

Mindful of how the violent individuals sought to hijack the peaceful rallies, the original protesters soon heeded calls by authorities to leave the streets.

According to officials, some rioters used shotguns and pistols to attack police and fire at the crowds of protesters.

While sporadic violence continued for several days — and claimed the lives of over a dozen people — officials announced that the riots would soon end. Huge counter-rallies have been held across Iran over the past four days in condemnation of the violence.

Lorestan province’s intelligence office said on Friday that Iran’s security forces had disbanded a local cell of the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) terrorist group which had carried out acts of sabotage during the protests.

It added that four members of the terrorist cell had been arrested through intelligence operations and one of them had been injured in clashes.

Intelligence Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that security forces had dismantled a terrorist group and arrested its members in West Azarbaijan .