A group of Iranian schoolgirls were reportedly flogged because their parents owed less than £7 ($8.50) in tuition fees.

At least 10 girls are believed to have been punished by education authorities in the Mokhtarabad village in the country's southern province of Kerman when it discovered their families could not afford to pay 30,000 toumans in fees.

The students were reportedly subjected to eight lashes each with a whip, the National Council of Resistance of Iran claimed, with the brutal punishment continuing with each day the families of the girls could not pay the money they owed.

The education authority has also been accused of preventing the children from attending school until the fees are paid.

The chairwoman of the education committee of the NCRI said: "The mullahs' inhuman regime is inherently criminal and thrives on torture and flogging.

"Moderation of the religious fascism ruling Iran is a mirage when it spends billions of dollars of the Iranian people's assets on export of war and terrorism to the region and carnage of defenceless children and women in Syria and particularly in Aleppo.

"Inside Iran, it does not have any qualm in plundering people even by whipping the delicate bodies of girl children."

School fees in Iran reportedly cause problems for students form poorer families who cannot always afford the money education institutions take for books and running costs.

The Iranian consulate did not immediately respond to IBTimes UK's request for comment.