A member of Iranian Parliament’s National Security Commission says “foreign and Zionist Intelligence Services” are supporting the perpetrators of the recent acid-throwing attacks on women in Isfahan.

The Shargh daily reported on Monday October 20 that Abbasali Mansouri Arani said such actions are similar to moves by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Sunni extremists that are trying to “paint a violent image of Islam by committing actions against Sharia.”

He added that there could be some hidden hands such as foreign intelligence services involved in these “despicable incidents.”

He added that these incidents have also severely affected the tourism industry in Isfahan, as foreign travellers omit the historic city from their itineraries.

So far, authorities have confirmed four incidents of acid being thrown on women in Isfahan; however, social networking sites place the number of incidents at 11.

The Isfahan Friday Mass Imam has said that even if a woman appears in public in the worst possible attire, acid-throwing cannot be justified as her punishment. Mohammad Taghi Rahbar has been quoted as saying that acid-throwing is against Sharia and offenders are subject to Sharia law of Qesas.

The Isfahan Prosecutor has also announced that a special committee has been formed to investigate the acid-throwing incidents.

In recent weeks, a number of women have been targeted by bikers throwing acid for purportedly not having adequate hijab (Islamic covering).