Pro-government rallies held in Iran amid mass protests

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DUBAI: Nearly a week after anti-government protests and unrest over the death of a young woman being apprehended by morality police, Iranian counter-protesters gathered across the country on Friday in support of the authorities. A rally in the capital Tehran was attended by a few thousand people, where they waved Iranian flags, and similar demonstrations took place in other cities. The government claimed that the show of support was spontaneous. Similar rallies have been organized during widespread protests in the past.
According to state media, pro-government protesters raised slogans against the US and Israel, reflecting the official line that foreign countries are fueling the latest unrest.
Meanwhile, state TV suggested the death toll from this week’s unrest could be as high as 26. Anti-government protesters and security forces have clashed in several major cities in the most serious political unrest since 2019, when rights groups say hundreds were killed. Demonstration against state-controlled petrol price hike.
Iran It has also disrupted internet access and tightened restrictions on popular platforms used for organizing rallies such as Instagram and WhatsApp.
A state TV anchor said late Thursday that 26 protesters and policemen have been killed since protests broke out after the 22-year-old’s funeral last Saturday. mahsa amini, without explaining how the authorities reached that figure. He said official figures would be released later, but officials have not given a full account of deaths and injuries during the previous period of unrest.
A tally by The Associated Press, based on statements from government and semi-official media, shows that at least 11 people have been killed. Recently, Qazvin’s deputy governor, Abolhassan Kabiri, said that a civilian and a paramilitary officer had died in unrest in two towns in the North-Western Province.
The crisis unfolding in Iran began as public anger over the death of amini, a young woman who was arrested by ethics police in Tehran last week for allegedly wearing her Islamic scarf too loosely. Police said she died of a heart attack and was not abused, but her family has raised doubts over her.
Amini’s death has been strongly condemned in western countries United Nations, and touched a national nerve. Hundreds of Iranians have taken to the streets in at least 13 cities, from the capital Tehran to the northwestern Kurdish hometown of Amini, Sakez, expressing anger at the social and political repression. Officials have alleged that unidentified foreign countries and opposition groups are trying to create unrest.
Political risk firm Eurasia Group wrote, “The death in the Islamic Republic has tapped into widespread anti-government sentiment, and women’s despair in particular, noting that Iranian radicals have intensified their crackdown on women’s clothing over the past year. Pramukh Ibrahim Raisi became the President.
“Leadership making concessions to Iranian women is less likely,” it said. “In the cold math of Iranian leaders, the protests have probably gone too far and a more forceful response is needed to quell the unrest.”
Videos on social media showed protesters setting a police car on fire and clashing closely with officers in Tehran. Elsewhere in the capital, video showed protesters opening fire at riot police and shouting: “They’re shooting people! Oh my god, they’re killing people!”
Protesters rejoice when a police car overturned in the northwestern city of Neshabur. Footage from Tehran and Mashhad showed women waving their obligatory headscarves, called hijabs, like flags in the air saying, “Freedom!”
Scenes of women cutting their hair and burning their hijabs feed into a broader political debate over the role of religious strictness in a modern republic – questions that have plagued the Islamic Republic since its founding in 1979.
But the protests have also become an open challenge for the government. Some called “the death of the dictator!” and “The mullahs have to go!”
Iran’s intelligence ministry on Thursday warned citizens against engaging in “illegal” street rallies, threatening to prosecute. Local authorities have announced the arrest of dozens of protesters. Hassan Hussainpour, deputy police chief of northern Gilan province, said 211 people were detained there on Thursday. The government of western Hamdan province said 58 protesters had been arrested.
The semi-official Fars news agency reported that Tehran University announced plans to move classes online next week amid the unrest.
London-based watchdog Amnesty International has accused security forces of beating protesters with sticks and firing metal shells from close range. Videos showed police and paramilitary officers using live fire, tear gas and water cannons to disperse the demonstrations.
Iran has been battling waves of protests in recent days, mainly over a long-running economic crisis stemming from US sanctions linked to its nuclear program. In November 2019, the country saw the deadliest violence since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, as protests broke out over a hike in gas prices.
Economic hardship remains a major source of anger today as prices for basic necessities rise and the Iranian currency declines in value.
Biden The administration and European allies are working to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, in which Iran curbed its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief, but talks have stalled for months.
The Eurasia group said protests are less likely to lead to an immediate withdrawal of the deal, as Iran’s government will be more hesitant to make concessions in times of domestic unrest and the United States will be reluctant to sign a deal as Iran violently cracks down on dissent. Does matter. ,



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