By Daler Mirov and Mustafa Melih Ahishali
A European citizen involved in recent anti-government protests in Iran has been arrested in the western Lorestan province, Iran's semi-official Tasnim News Agency reported Wednesday evening.
Tasnim quoted Hamid Reza Bolhassani, a judicial official in Lorestan's city of Boroujerd, as saying the detained European had links with foreign intelligence agencies and had been "sent" to Boroujerd to instigate protests.
Last Thursday, Iranians took to the streets in the northeastern cities of Mashhad and Kashmar to protest rising inflation and perceived government mismanagement.
Over the last six days, the demonstrations -- which have included acts of violence -- have spread to other Iranian cities and in some cases have taken an increasingly anti-government tone.
At least 23 people have been killed -- including a police officer -- while hundreds more have reportedly been detained.
Earlier Wednesday, thousands of Iranians took part in pro-government rallies in the cities of Abadan, Ahwaz, Kermanshah, Gorgan and Khorramabad.
On the same day, Mohammad Ali Jafari, the head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps, accused the U.S. and Saudi Arabia of instigating the protests.