“As you know a number of Dervishes (followers of a Shiite sect) had caused public disturbance due to their illegal gathering and the law enforcement police and Basij (volunteer) forces treated them with their good level of power,” General Ashtari said on Monday.
He added that the Judiciary will put the perpetrators of the recent unrests on trial, and said, “A number of internal and foreign hands provoked and led these people.”
“Certainly, some groups and streams outside the country are after distorting the security inside Iran and of course, we will not allow them to do so,” General Ashtari said.
The riots took place overnight last Monday during an unauthorized gathering by the so-called Dervish sect near a police station, during which they engaged in clashes with ordinary people and police forces, according to officials.
During the clashes, an attacker ploughed a bus through a group of policemen, killing three of them.
A member of the Basij force also lost his life and another one is in coma following separate car-ramming and stabbing attacks at the site.
More than 300 people, among them the drivers of the bus and the car as well as the main elements behind the incident, had been arrested.
In a statement on Wednesday, the leader of Dervish sect, Nourali Tabandeh, apologized to the state and the nation for the riot and the violence exercised by his followers. He strongly condemned the attacks of his followers on the police, calling for the perpetrators of acts of violence to be brought to justice.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Seyed Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani have both praised the security forces’ thoughtful handling of the unrest.
In relevant remarks on Sunday, Governor-general of Tehran province Mohammad Hossein Moqimi also lauded the Iranian law enforcement police forces for their wise handling of a several-hour-long riot by followers of religious sect in Northern capital.
“The law enforcement police entered the scene in a good manner after its planned moves and negotiations” with rioters failed to convince them to cool down “and ended a major riot which could create lots of problems, by using all possibilities and with the help of other forces, including Basij forces, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and the intelligence ministry, and without even inflicting any tolls on the opposite side” Moqimi told FNA.
He noted that the police made its utmost efforts to wrap up the unrests through talks “but the rioters launched a bus attack and ran over a number of law enforcement police personnel and martyred them”.
Moqimi also appreciated the residents of Pasdaran neighborhood in Northern Tehran for their assistance to the police to end the riots.