Iran’s Khamenei backs police over Mahsa Amini protests, might sign harder crackdown By Reuters

© Reuters. Iran’s Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (not pictured), in Tehran, Iran June 11, 2022. Workplace of the Iranian Supreme Chief/WANA (West Asia Information Company)/Handout by way of REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE

By Parisa Hafezi

DUBAI (Reuters) -Iran’s supreme chief on Monday gave his full backing to safety forces confronting protests ignited by the loss of life of Mahsa Amini in custody, feedback that would herald a harsher crackdown to quell unrest greater than two weeks since she died.

In his first remarks addressing the 22-year-old’s loss of life after her arrest by morality police over “inappropriate apparel”, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei mentioned Amini’s loss of life “deeply broke my coronary heart” and referred to as it a “bitter incident” provoked by Iran’s enemies.

“The obligation of our safety forces, together with police, is to make sure the security of the Iranian nation … Those who assault the police are leaving Iranian residents defenceless towards thugs, robbers and extortionists,” Khamenei informed a gaggle of armed forces cadets in Tehran.

Safety forces, together with police and the volunteer Basij militia, have been main a crackdown on the protests, with hundreds arrested and a whole lot injured, in accordance with rights teams, which put the loss of life toll at over 130.

Iranian authorities have reported many members of the safety forces killed through the unrest, which has spiralled into the largest present of opposition to Iran’s authorities in years, with many calling for the top of greater than 4 a long time of Islamic clerical rule.

Khamenei mentioned safety forces had confronted “injustice” through the protests.

“Some folks have prompted insecurity within the streets,” Khamenei mentioned, sharply condemning what he described as deliberate “riots”, and accusing the US and Israel – the Islamic Republic’s arch-adversaries – of orchestrating the disturbances.

The cruel crackdown towards the protests has drawn widespread worldwide condemnation. The White Home denounced the crackdown and Britain summoned the Iranian cost d’affaires, condemning the crackdown as “actually stunning”.


Inside hours after Amini’s funeral within the Kurdish city of Saqez on Sept. 17, hundreds of Iranians poured into the streets throughout the nation, with folks burning photos of Khamenei and chanting “Dying to the dictator”, in accordance with movies on social media.

Nonetheless, there’s little likelihood of a collapse of the Islamic Republic within the close to time period, since its leaders are decided to not present the type of weak point they imagine sealed the destiny of the U.S.-backed Shah in 1979, officers and analysts informed Reuters.

Nonetheless, the unrest calls into the query the precedence that has outlined Khamenei’s rule – the survival at any price of the four-decade-old Islamic Republic and its spiritual elite.

“Those that ignited unrest to sabotage the Islamic Republic deserve harsh prosecution and punishment,” mentioned Khamenei.

The protests haven’t abated regardless of a rising loss of life toll and an more and more violent crackdown by safety forces utilizing tear fuel, golf equipment and – in some instances, in accordance with movies on social media and rights teams – dwell ammunition.

In defiance of Khamenei’s warning, Iranians in a number of cities chanted “We wish regime change” and “loss of life to Khamenei” from rooftops at night time – a type of protest used within the 1979 revolution that turned Iran into an Islamic Republic.

In an unprecedented transfer, highschool college students in a dozen cities joined the protests, refusing to attend lessons and strolling within the streets with out obligatory scarf. Movies on social media confirmed younger women chanting “Freedom, Freedom” within the metropolis of Karaj.

Demonstrations additionally unfold to dozens of universities, with college college students staging strikes to protest a late Sunday assault by safety forces at Tehran’s distinguished Sharif College. Dozens of scholars had been arrested and lots of have been injured in accordance with social media posts and movies.

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