Monday , 28 November 2022

Iran’s President Says Protesters Should Be Confronted ‘Decisively

RFL/RE – President Ebrahim Raisi has said that Iran must “deal decisively with those who oppose the country’s security and tranquility,” state media reported as the number of people killed in more than a week of anti-government protests more than doubled, according to official accounts.

State media said that at least 35 people have been killed in more than a week of protests in Iran that were sparked by the death of a young woman arrested by the morality police for failing to properly wear a mandatory headscarf, or hijab.

“The number of people who died in recent riots in the country has risen to 35 people,” the Borna news agency, which is affiliated with Iran’s Sports Ministry, said late on September 23, citing state television.

The official toll had previously stood at 17 dead, including five members of the security forces.

Raisi’s comments were made in a condolence telephone call to the family of a security agent stabbed to death last week, allegedy by protesters.

Demonstrators have taken to the streets of major cities across Iran, including Tehran, for eight straight nights since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.SEE ALSO:Iran Stages Rallies To Counter Week Of Anti-Establishment Protests Over Woman’s Death In Custody

The Kurdish woman was pronounced dead three days after the morality police, a unit responsible for enforcing Iran’s strict dress code for women, arrested her in Tehran for wearing the headscarf in an “improper” way.

On September 23, state-organized counterdemonstrations took place in several Iranian cities, paying tribute to security forces who have moved to quell a week of protests by what media called “conspirators.”

The state-sponsored rallies came amid the strongest warning yet from the authorities when the army told Iranians it would confront “the enemies” behind the unrest.

Iran’s military said on September 23 it would “confront the enemies’ various plots in order to ensure security and peace for the people who are being unjustly assaulted.”

“We will not allow enemies to use the situation,” a military statement said, according to the semiofficial ISNA news agency.

Iran’s intelligence service said it had foiled several bomb attacks during the protests.

According to an intelligence report published by the Mehr news agency on September 24, the attacks were planned by supporters of the former monarchy and militia members in the city of Tabriz in the northwest of the country.

The account could not be independently verified.

Activists said Amini suffered a blow to the head while in custody but Iranian authorities, who say they have opened an investigation, denied she had been beaten.

“Reports from oversight bodies were received, witnesses were interviewed, videos were reviewed, forensic opinions were obtained and it was found that there had been no beating,” Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi was quoted as saying by Iranian media on September 23.

The minister indicated said the government was investigating the cause of Amini’s death, adding, “we must wait for the final opinion of the medical examiner, which takes time.”

Vahidi criticized “those who took irresponsible positions…incited violence and followed the United States, European countries, and anti-revolutionary groups.”

With reporting by AFP and dpa