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    24-Sep-2022

Raisi: Iran Must Deal Decisively with Protests

 

Asharq Al-Awsat

 

Iran must deal decisively with protests which have swept the country after the death in custody of a woman detained by the morality police, President Ebrahim Raisi said on Saturday.
 
Thirty-five people have been killed in the weeklong demonstrations, according to Iran's state television, with protests spreading to most of the country's 31 provinces.
 
 
On Friday, state-organized rallies took place in several Iranian cities to counter the anti-government protests, and the army promised to confront "the enemies" behind the unrest.
 
 
State media quoted Raisi on Saturday as saying Iran must "deal decisively with those who oppose the country's security and tranquility".
 
 
According to Reuters, Raisi was speaking by telephone to the family of a member of the Basij volunteer force killed while taking part in the crackdown on unrest in the northeastern city of Mashhad.
 
 
The president "stressed the necessity to distinguish between protest and disturbing public order and security, and called the events ... a riot," state media reported.
 
 
The protests broke out in northwestern Iran a week ago at the funeral of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who died after falling into a coma following her detention by morality police enforcing hijab rules on women's dress.
 
 
Iranian news agencies reported on Saturday that 739 protesters had been arrested in the northern province of Gilan, on the Caspian Sea.
 
 
The activist Twitter account 1500tasvir, which has 125,000 followers, said communication channels with the northwestern town of Oshnavieh had been cut off, and landlines were down.
 
 
Oshnavieh was one of several towns in northwest Iran, where most of the country's 10 million Kurds live, that held a strike on Friday. Kurdish rights group Hengaw posted a video it said showed protesters in control of parts of the town on Friday.
 

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