TEHRAN, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Iran arrested two German diplomats for their alleged role in violent protests in Iran marking the Shiite holy day of Ashura in December, officials said.
The Iranian Students' News Agency said deputy intelligence officials arrested two German diplomats in December for their involvement "in the riots during Ashura."
"Anti-Islamic Revolution agents" and "networks backed by Western intelligence services" had planned the riots in advance, ISNA said.
Opposition protests on the Shiite holy day of Ashura in December were among the most violent Iran has seen in decades. As many as eight protesters were killed during the unrest, during which demonstrators set fire to security buildings and defaced government property.
The announcement of the arrest follows a statement by German Chancellor Angela Merkel against the Islamic republic.
Merkel during a joint news conference with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Berlin on Tuesday said she had run out of patience with Tehran regarding nuclear negotiations.
"Iran's time is up," she said. "It is now time to discuss widespread international sanctions. We have shown much patience and that patience is up."