Iranian government-organized demonstrators called for the execution of rioters, according to Reuters

© Reuters photo file: A police motorcycle is set on fire during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amin, a woman who was arrested by the Islamic Republic’s “morality police” in Tehran, Iran, September 19, 2022. Reuters

DUBAI (Reuters) – Government-sponsored demonstrations have been held in several Iranian cities against anti-government protests sparked by the death of a woman in police custody, with some protesters calling for the death of the rioters.

The protests have so far followed strong warnings from the authorities, with the military telling Iranians they will confront the “enemies” behind the violence – a move that has signaled the kind of violence that has dogged protests in the past.

Demonstrators denounced anti-government protesters as “Israeli soldiers,” according to a state television report. In addition, “Death to America” ​​and “Death to Israel” are common slogans used by the country’s clerical rulers to support and motivate the authorities.

“Those who violate the Koran must be killed,” the crowd shouted.

Iranians have held public demonstrations over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini last week after she was arrested by morality police for wearing “inconvenient clothes”.

Amini’s death has sparked outrage over Iran’s restrictions on personal freedoms, strict dress codes for women and an economy reeling from sanctions.

Iran’s military on Friday sent a stern warning from authorities to protesters angered by the death.

“These desperate actions are part of the enemy’s evil strategy to weaken the Islamic regime,” he said.

The military stated that it will face the various plots of the enemies to ensure the safety and peace of the people who are being attacked without reason.

Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Allawi on Friday also warned the “insurgents” that their “dream of winning religious values ​​and the great success of the revolution will never come true,” Asriran website reported.

The protests were particularly strong in Kurdistan Region, where Amini lives, and nearby areas. Two weapons, explosives and communications equipment were seized in northwest Iran, where armed Kurdish opposition groups are based, along the border with Iraq, state television said.

Iran’s clerical rulers fear a resurgence of protests sparked by gasoline price hikes in 2019, the bloodiest in the Islamic republic’s history. Reuters reports that 1,500 people have died.

In recent unrest in Tehran and other cities, protesters have set fire to police stations and vehicles as protesters angered by Amini’s death have come under fire from security forces over the lack of signs of calm.

Iranian media reported on Thursday that 288 rioters had been arrested.

In Madrid, four activists from the Women’s Women’s Movement protested in front of the Iranian embassy on Friday, holding signs saying “women, women, freedom and the death of Mahsa Amini”.

The demonstration was held peacefully and no arrests were made.

Protesters in Athens against Amin’s death tried to approach the Iranian embassy on Thursday before being forced back by armored police. The demonstrators chanted slogans and carried signs that read, “Homosexuality and sex kill.”

Protests over Amini’s death were held in Canada and the Netherlands last Thursday.

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