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Pro-government rallies held in Iran amid mass protests


DUBAI: Anti-Iran protesters gathered across the country on Friday to show support for the authorities after nearly a week of anti-government protests and unrest over the death of a woman The child is in the custody of the ethics police. Several thousand people attended a rally in the capital Tehran, where they waved Iranian flags, and similar rallies were held in other cities. The government claims the support protests are spontaneous. Similar protests have been held during previous periods of widespread protest.
According to state media, pro-government protesters chanted against the US and Israel, reflecting the official line that foreign countries are inciting the latest unrest.
Meanwhile, State TV thinks the death toll from unrest this week could reach 26. Anti-government protesters and security forces have clashed in several major cities amid severe political unrest. The worst since 2019, when rights groups say hundreds of people have been killed amid protests against a state-controlled increase in gasoline prices.
Iran also disrupted internet access and tightened restrictions on popular platforms used to organize protests such as Instagram and WhatsApp.
A state TV presenter late on Thursday said 26 protesters and policemen had been killed since protests broke out last Saturday following the 22-year-old’s funeral. Mahsa Amini, without explaining in detail how the authorities reached that number. He said official statistics would be released later, but in previous periods of unrest, authorities failed to provide a complete count of the number of dead and injured.
An Associated Press tally, based on statements from state and semi-official media, shows that at least 11 people have been killed. Most recently, Qazvin’s deputy governor, Abolhasan Kabiri, said a citizen and paramilitary officer were killed in the unrest that rocked two cities in the Northwest province.
The crisis unfolding in Iran began when public outrage over the death of Amini, a young woman was arrested by ethics police in Tehran last week for allegedly wearing a Muslim headscarf that was too loose. Police said she died of a heart attack and was not mistreated, but her family was suspicious of that.
Amini’s death caused harsh condemnation from Western countries and United Nation, and touch the national nerve. Hundreds of Iranians in at least 13 cities from the capital Tehran to the Kurdish homeland of northwest Amini, Saqez took to the streets, expressing pent-up anger at political and social repression. Authorities allege that unnamed foreign nations and opposition groups are trying to incite unrest.
“The death has hit anti-government sentiment in the Islamic Republic and especially the frustration of women,” wrote political risk firm Eurasia Group, noting that Iran’s hardliners has stepped up its crackdown on women’s clothing in the past year since the establishment of the old judiciary. Chief Ebrahim Raisi became president.
“The prospect of leadership making concessions to Iranian women is slim,” it said. “By the cold calculations of Iran’s leaders, the protests may have gone far enough and a stronger response is needed to quell the unrest.”
Video on social media showed protesters in Tehran setting fire to a police vehicle and confronting officers at close range. Elsewhere in the capital, videos showed gunfire as protesters hit riot police, shouting: “They’re shooting at people! Oh my God, they’re killing people!”
In the northwestern city of Neyshabur, protesters cheered over an overturned police vehicle. Footage from Tehran and Mashhad shows women waving mandatory headscarves, known as hijabs, in the air like flags while chanting, “Freedom!”
Scenes of women cutting their hair and burning their headscarves led to a broader political debate about the role of religious strictures in a republic today – questions raised for the country. Islamic Republic since its founding in 1979.
But the protests have also become a major challenge for the government. The chants turned harsh, with some chanting “Death to the dictator!” and “Mullahs must go!”
Iran’s intelligence ministry warned citizens against taking part in “illegal” street rallies on Thursday, threatening prosecution. Local officials announced the arrest of dozens of protesters. Hasan Hosseinpour, deputy police chief of northern Gilan province, said 211 people were detained there on Thursday. The western Hamadan provincial government said 58 protesters had been arrested.
Tehran University has announced it will move classes online next week amid the unrest, the Fars news agency reported.
London-based watchdog Amnesty International accused security forces of beating protesters with batons and firing metal pellets at close range. Videos showed police and paramilitary officers using water cannons, tear gas and water cannons to disperse protests.
Iran has struggled with protests in the past, mainly due to a protracted economic crisis exacerbated by US sanctions related to its nuclear program. In November 2019, the country saw the deadliest violence since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, when protests broke out over the petrol price hike.
Economic hardship remains the main cause of anger today as prices of essential commodities soar and the Iranian currency depreciates.
The Biden European authorities and allies are working to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, in which Iran limited its nuclear activities in return for sanctions, but talks have stalled in the past. many months.
The Eurasia group said the protests made any immediate return to the deal less likely, as the Iranian government would be more hesitant to make concessions at a time of domestic turmoil and The United States will be reluctant to sign an agreement as Iran cracks down on dissent. .





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