Iranian president tries to quell anger as protests continue: NPR


Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi addresses parliament during a vote of confidence session for his candidate for Labor Minister in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, October 4, 2022.

Vahid Salemi/AP


hide caption

toggle caption

Vahid Salemi/AP

Iranian president tries to quell anger as protests continue: NPR

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi addresses parliament during a vote of confidence session for his candidate for Labor Minister in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, October 4, 2022.

Vahid Salemi/AP

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called for national unity on Tuesday and tried to quell anger at the country’s leadership, even as anti-government protests that engulfed the country for weeks continued to rage. spread to universities and high schools.

Raisi acknowledged that the Islamic Republic has “weaknesses and shortcomings”, but repeated the official line that the unrest sparked last month by the death of a 22-year-old woman in the custody of the country’s vice squad does not were nothing short of a conspiracy Iran’s enemies.

“Today, the country’s determination is aimed at cooperation to reduce people’s problems,” he told a parliamentary session. “Unity and national integrity are necessities that render our enemy hopeless.”

His claims echoed those of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who accused the United States and Israel, the country’s adversaries, of inciting unrest in his early remarks on nationwide protests in Monday. It’s a familiar tactic for Iran’s leaders, who have been wary of Western influence since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and typically blame domestic problems on foreign enemies without providing evidence.

The protests, which emerged in response to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after her arrest for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code, have entwined dozens of cities across the country and become the biggest challenge. most rumored for Iran’s leadership in years. A series of escalating crises have festered and helped fuel public anger, including the country’s political repression, struggling economy and global isolation.

Iranian security forces have sought to disperse protests with tear gas, metal pellets and, in some cases, live fire, rights groups say. Iranian state television reports that violent clashes between protesters and police have killed at least 41 people, but human rights groups say the number is much higher.

As the start of the new academic year officially kicked off this week, protests quickly spread to college campuses, long seen as sanctuaries in times of unrest. Videos posted on social media showed students expressing solidarity with their peers who had been arrested and calling for an end to the Islamic Republic. Shaken by the unrest, many universities moved classes online this week.

Tehran’s prestigious Sharif University of Technology became a battleground on Sunday as security forces surrounded the campus from all sides and fired tear gas at protesters who had holed up in a parking lot, preventing them from leaving. The student union reported that police arrested hundreds of students, although many were later released.

In a video on Monday, students marched and chanted, “Imprisoned students must be freed! at Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran. In another, students marched through Khayyam University in the conservative city of Mashhad shouting, “Sharif University has become a prison! Evin prison has become a university! — referring to Iran’s infamous prison in Tehran.

Demonstrations also appeared to grip segregationist high schools across Iran on Monday, where groups of young girls waved their state-mandated hijabs and chanted “Woman! Life! Freedom!” in the city of Karaj west of the capital and in the Kurdish town of Sanandaj, according to widely shared images.

The Iranian security forces’ response drew widespread global condemnation. On Monday, President Joe Biden said his administration was “gravely concerned by reports of escalating violent repression against peaceful protesters in Iran, including students and women.”

Furious at Iran’s response to the protests, the UK Foreign Office summoned Iran’s ambassador to London.

“The violence by security forces during protests in Iran is truly shocking,” said British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.


npr

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button