Iran on Thursday announced more arrests in the post-election turmoil, detaining seven alleged provocateurs of violence it says were linked to Iranian exiles. The move underlines authorities'' drive to portray protests as the work of outsiders rather than a reflection of widespread popular dismay.

The arrests continue a heavy crackdown that has squashed the mass protests that erupted over the disputed June 12 presidential vote. Iran''s top police chief has said 20 people were killed in violence during the protests, and that 1,032 people were detained.

In another move to push the government''s depiction of the protests, the semi-official Fars news agency reported Thursday that families of the "innocent victims" of bloodshed during demonstrations would receive government compensation. Fars said "terrorists infiltrated among protesters to foment unrest," causing the violence.