© Reuters FILE PHOTO: People set fire to the death of Mahsa Amin, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic Republic’s “morality police” in Tehran, Iran, September 21, 2022. Reuters
DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran must deal decisively with the protests that have rocked the country after the death of a woman arrested by the Islamic Republic’s morality police, President Ibrahim Raisi said on Saturday.
At least 41 people have been killed in the week-long unrest, state television reported Saturday. He said the extent of the damage was based on his own count and official figures were yet to be released. Protests erupted in most of the country’s 31 states.
State media quoted Raisi on Saturday as saying that Iran “must deal decisively with those who oppose the country’s security and stability.”
Raisi spoke to the family of a member of the Bajij Volunteer Force who was killed while taking part in the violence in the northeastern city of Mashhad.
The President stressed the need to “identify those who are protesting and disrupting public peace and order.”
The protests erupted in northwest Iran a week ago at the funeral of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who fell into a coma after being detained by police for enforcing hijab laws on women’s clothing in Tehran.
Her death sparked outrage over Iran’s restrictions on personal freedoms, strict dress codes for women and an economy reeling from sanctions.
Women played a major role in the protests, waving their veils and burning them. Some cut off their hair in public as the angry crowd called for the downfall of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
In the year The demonstrations are the largest to grip the country since protests over oil prices in 2019, with Reuters reporting that 1,500 people have been killed in a crackdown on protesters – the deadliest conflict in the Islamic Republic’s history.
On Friday, government-organized demonstrations against anti-government protests took place in several Iranian cities, with the army vowing to fight the “enemies” behind the violence.
In neighboring Iraq, dozens of Iraqi and Iranian Kurds rallied on Saturday at the gates of the United Nations compound in the northern city of Erbil, holding signs bearing Amin’s photo and chanting “death to the dictator” in reference to Khomeini.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards fired artillery at a Kurdish opposition base in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region, state television said, accusing armed Iranian Kurdish rebels in Iran of being behind the violence.
Mobile internet has been disrupted in Iran at least three times this week, according to the NetBlocks regulator. Activists say the move is aimed at preventing video footage of the incident from being released to the world.
On Saturday, NetBlocks blocked Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:) Skype video calling app, the move after targeting platforms including Instagram, WhatsApp and LinkedIn.
The United States is making exceptions to sanctions on Iran in an effort to maintain internet connectivity – a move Tehran said on Saturday was consistent with Washington’s hostile stance.
Rights group Amnesty International said protesters faced a “deadly response from security forces” and called for an independent UN investigation.
On the night of September 21, at least 19 people, including three children, were killed in firing by security forces.
“The rise in the death toll is an alarming demonstration of the brutality of the authorities’ attacks on human life in the darkness of internet shutdowns,” Amnesty said.
State television showed images of calm in many parts of the capital Tehran late on Friday.
But in some western and northern areas of Tehran and some provinces, rioters destroyed public property.
The activist Twitter (NYSE: ) account 1500tasvir showed protest videos showing protesters gathering in a square in Tehran’s western Satarkhan district and chanting, “Let’s all fear this together.” In the background.
A video posted on social media shows onlookers cheering and shouting at a peaceful demonstration in the northern city of Babol where young people tried to take pictures of Khomeini and the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, at the gates of the university. Death to the tyrant.”
Videos posted on social media showed protests continuing late Saturday in Sanandaj, the capital of Kurdistan Region, despite the presence of police forces. Reuters could not verify the videos.