TEHRAN (Press Shia) – The archbishop of the Armenians of Isfahan Province and southern parts of Iran said recent riots in the country have been led by some foreign elements.

Speaking at a meeting with Governor General of Isfahan Mohsen Mehralizadeh in Isfahan on Wednesday, Sipan Kechejian expressed deep sorrow over recent incidents in the country, including violent attacks and acts of vandalism during civil protests.

“…Unfortunately, some are seeking to create sedition (in Iran),” the archbishop deplored.

He further emphasized that the riots have been organized and guided from abroad.

The remarks come as life has returned to normal in various cities, including the capital, after a few days of unrest in Iran which drew condemnation from the majority of the people.

In demonstrations staged in various cities of the country on Monday evening, Iranians condemned recent attacks and acts of vandalism by some rioters during public protests over price hikes.

There are various conflicting reports about the number of casualties and the extent of the damage in the riots. According to some unverified reports, at least 21 people, including a number of the security forces, have been killed.

According to Article 27 of the Iranian Constitution, “public gatherings and marches are allowed so long as the participants do not carry arms and are not in violation of the fundamental principles of Islam.”

Some Western and Arab media outlets tried to portray the protests as a political uprising against the Establishment.

Iranian officials maintain that people have the right to stage protests to express their opinions, as long as rallies comply with the legal conditions.