Iranian students scuffle with police at the University of Tehran during a demonstration driven by anger over economic problems, in the capital Tehran on December 30, 2017. (AFP PHOTO)
TEHRAN, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- A senior Iranian security official said Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and Britain are major players behind recent anti-government protests, Press TV reported Tuesday.
Certain countries are waging a "proxy war" against the Islamic republic via social media and the internet, Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), was quoted as saying.
The United States, Britain and Saudi Arabia are behind the recent riots in Iran, he said, adding that the hashtags and social media campaigns in Iran are all being guided by these countries.
"Based on our analyses, around 27 percent of the new hashtags against Iran are generated by the Saudi government," the Iranian official said.
Shamkhani also said this foreign-backed intervention is aimed at hampering Iran's progress in different spheres.
"What is happening in Iran will be over in a few days, and there is no reason to worry at all," he noted.
At least eight people, seven civilians and one security policeman were killed as protests against the government's economic policies, including looming price hikes, continued in major cities in Iran over the past days.
According to Iran's security officials, scores of protesters had been arrested.