Iranian authorities have arrested a university professor on security charges and “suspicious foreign connections,” Iranian media reported Monday.
The semi-official Mehr news agency identified the professor as Saeed Madani, but did not give details about when or where he was taken into custody. The report said the educator met with the suspected foreign nationals and sent messages from them to local Iranian workers.
Madani, a professor of sociology at the government-run Allameh University in Tehran, was also an activist, Mehr said. He has been summoned by the court several times in the past, and once, in 2019, was banned from traveling abroad.
A Madani representative could not immediately be reached for comment.
Iran has stepped up its crackdown on dissent in recent weeks, including crackdowns on workers. Over the weekend, a statement from award-winning filmmaker Mohammed Rasulouf and others said authorities had recently raided the offices and homes of several filmmakers and other industry professionals and arrested some of them.
Iran’s conservative authorities, many of whom have religious sensitivities, control all of Iran’s power. They have long been seen as part of the West’s “soft war” against the Islamic Republic. They say Westernization is trying to tarnish the country’s Islamic faith.
State media reported last Friday that authorities had arrested at least 22 protesters in protest of the sudden rise in subsidized food. And on Saturday, Ahmed Avai, an MP from the town of Dezful in southwestern Khuzestan province, said one person had been killed during the unrest.
The unrest follows Iran’s announcement earlier this week that prices for cooking oil, chicken, eggs and milk would rise by 300% as food prices across the Middle East rose due to global supply chain snarls and Russia’s main food attack. Exporter Ukraine.