Iranians continued anti-government demurrers on Wednesday despite decreasingly deadly state crackdowns, social media reports showed, as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed the demonstrations as” haphazard screams” planned by Iran’s adversaries.
The protests, ignited by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of Iran’s ethics police on 16 September, have become one of the boldest challenges to the clerical leadership since the 1979 revolution.
A video showed a crowd of at least 100 people blocking a road in central Tehran saying, “with cannon, tank or firecracker, the mullah must be lost”. Another video showed dozens of riot police stationed in the street in Tehran where a fire was burning.
Tear gas shells were fired during a protest outside the lawyers’ union in Tehran, where dozens of protesters chanted “Women, Life, Freedom”, videos posted on social media showed.
Reuters could not independently confirm the video.
— Christiane Amanpour (@amanpour) October 12, 2022
In the northwestern city of Buchan, security forces opened fire on demonstrators, injuring 11 people, according to the human rights group Hangau, which also reported shootings in Kermanshah.
A demonstrator said shots were fired in the central city of Sanandaj in the Kurdistan province of Amini. “Several protesters were injured.
Iran’s police chief Hossein Ashtari told state television that people affiliated with opposition groups abroad disguised as police and opened fire on the crowd. He did not say when and where but said some of them had been arrested.
While observers agree that the protests are close to toppling the government – officials sparked six months of protests in 2009 over a disputed election – nearly four weeks of unrest have underscored frustrations over freedoms and rights.
Amini’s death has struck a nerve, bringing a broad sweep of Iranians to the streets, with protesters expressing anger at the heavy crackdown on morality police and saying the victim could be someone’s mother, sister or daughter.
Norway- grounded Iran mortal rights association said the death risk during the uneasiness had risen to at least 201, including 23 minors. Its last 8 October report put the death risk at 185.
Officers said around 20 members of the security forces were killed. Iran has indicated its adversaries, including the US, of spreading uneasiness.
‘Stand up to adversaries’
The uneasiness comes at a time of difficulty for ordinary people in Iran, where expensive interventions in wars similar to Syria have recently fueled review. The frugality is agonized by poor operation and tensed Western warrants on Iran’s nuclear program, drawing Tehran closer to Russia and China.
— IranHumanRights.org (@ICHRI) October 12, 2022
The semi-official Tasnim news agency reported that Khamenei, the centre of the protesters’ anger, said Iran’s enemies designed the protests.
“These haphazard screams are unresistant and clumsy designs of the adversary against the great and innovative developments and movements of the Iranian nation,” he said.
“The cure against adversaries is to stand before them,” he said.
In Iran’s capital, a demonstrator, speaking on condition of obscurity, said dozens of hoot police had arrested people leaving Tehran university.
“They’re beating and pushing people,” the protestor said.
The demurrers have been particularly violent in the northwest, where Iran’s further than 10 million Kurds live and where Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have a track record of quelling uneasiness.
Hangaw reported attacks in Kurdish areas, including Amini’s motherlands of Sakéz and Buchan, participating in vids showing shops in both metropolises with shutters closed.
In Rasht, the capital of northern Iran’s Gilan fiefdom, a dozen protesters were crying,” From Kurdistan to Gilan, I immolate my life for Iran,” in a videotape posted on social media, emphasizing public concinnity. The reverberation of mantras. Reuters couldn’t confirm the tape.