Iran's foreign ministry accuses the leaders of the US and some European countries of abusing a tragic incident in support of the "rioters" and ignoring "millions of people" supporting the system.
Authorities in a northern Iran province have arrested 450 people during more than 10 days of protests following a young woman's death in morality police's custody, state media has reported.
"During the troubles of the past days, 450 rioters have been arrested in Mazandaran," the northern province's chief prosecutor, Mohammad Karimi, was quoted as saying by official news agency IRNA on Monday.
They "have attacked government buildings and damaged public property in several parts of Mazandaran", he added.
Local media reported that protesters were shouting anti-regime slogans, and Karimi said they were led by "foreign anti-revolutionary agents".
More than 1,200 demonstrators, reformist activists and journalists have been arrested during the mostly night-time demonstrations across the country since unrest first broke out after Mahsa Amini's death was announced on September 16.
Amini, whose Kurdish first name was Jhina, was detained three days before that in Tehran for allegedly breaching rules mandating hijab headscarves and modest dress.
On Saturday, authorities in the neighbouring Gilan province announced the arrest of 739 people, including 60 women.
The Fars news agency on Sunday reported the arrest of 88 protesters in the southern province of Hormozgan, quoting a local official.
Fars also reported arrests in Zanjan, a city in the northwest, Karaj, west of Tehran, and in Kerman in the southeast.
At least 41 people have died since the unrest began, mostly protesters but including members of the Iran's security forces, according to an official toll.
Iran's judiciary chief, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, on Sunday "emphasised the need for decisive action without leniency" against the core instigators of the "riots", the judiciary’s Mizan Online website said.
Photos published Monday by the Tasnim news agency showed protesters in Qom, a holy Shia city about 150 kilometres (90 miles) south of the capital Tehran.
Security forces have released these images of "lead instigators", Tasnim reported, asking residents to "identify them and inform the authorities".
The case has drawn international condemnation.
For its part, the Iranian foreign ministry on Monday accused the US of attempting to violate Iran's sovereignty over the issue of protests, as the biggest unrest in the country since 2019 showed no signs of abating.
"Washington is always trying to weaken Iran’s stability and security although it has been unsuccessful," Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani told Nour news, which is affiliated with a top security body, in a statement on Monday.
On his Instagram page, Kanaani accused the leaders of the United States and some European countries of abusing a tragic incident in support of the "rioters" and ignoring "the presence of millions of people in the streets and squares of the country in support of the system."