- Calls for teachers and students to strike
- Germany summons the Iranian ambassador
- The unverified videos contain sounds and images of the shooting
DUBAI, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Iran faced more international criticism on Monday over the death of a woman in police custody, which sparked nationwide protests after Tehran accused the United States of using the unrest to destabilize the country.
Iran has cracked down on the biggest protests since 2019, sparked by the September 16 death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amin after she was arrested by morality police for abiding by the Islamic republic’s strict dress code for women. The case has sparked widespread condemnation.
However, the measures have not stopped Iranians from calling for the ouster of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other clerics.
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Canada plans to impose sanctions on those responsible for Amin’s death, including Iran’s morality police unit and its leadership, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.
“We’ve seen Iran’s disregard for human rights time and time again, now we’re seeing it with the death of Mahsa Amin and the crackdown on protests,” Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa.
The activist Twitter account 1500tasvir posted videos it said showed street protests late Monday across Tehran, and footage showing residents shouting “Death to Khamenei” from their homes. Reuters could not confirm the videos.
Women have played a significant role in the protests, waving and burning their veils.
Human rights group Hengaw released a video showing protesters cheering in Sanandaj, the capital of Kurdistan province, as women took off their headscarves to protest the mandatory hijab. In later video, heavy gunfire could be heard as the streets appeared to be filled with tear gas.
Another video posted on social media purported to show security forces opening fire late Monday during protests in Sardasht, a town with a large Kurdish population. Reuters could not confirm the videos.
Iran said the United States was supporting the riots and seeking to destabilize the Islamic Republic.
“Washington always tries to undermine Iran’s stability and security, although it has not succeeded,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said in a statement.
On his Instagram page, Kanaani accused the leaders of the United States and some European countries of misusing the tragic event to support “riots” and ignoring “the presence of millions of people in the country’s streets and squares to support the system.” “.
Germany also summoned Iran’s ambassador to Berlin on Monday to urge Tehran to end its crackdown and allow peaceful demonstrations. Asked about possible additional sanctions against Tehran in response to the violence, a German foreign ministry spokesman had previously said: “We are exploring all options” with other European Union states. Read more
The United States last week imposed sanctions on Iran’s morality police over allegations of abuse of Iranian women and said it held the unit responsible for Amin’s death.
Students at Tabriz University’s Faculty of Dentistry, with the exception of the emergency department, went on strike on Monday and refused to attend classes, said activist Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).
The attacks were aimed at protesting widespread arrests of students and heavy clashes with security forces at Iranian universities.
On Sunday, Iran summoned the ambassadors of Great Britain and Norway for disturbing the unrest and hostile media coverage.
The anti-government protests are the largest in Iran since protests over fuel prices in 2019, when Reuters reported that 1,500 people were killed in a crackdown on protesters, the bloodiest scene of internal unrest in the Islamic republic’s history.
At least 41 people have died since September 17, according to state TV.
President Ebrahim Raisi has said that Iran guarantees freedom of expression and that he has ordered an investigation into Amin’s death.
In a statement posted on social media on Sunday, Iran’s leading teachers’ union called on teachers and students to stage the first national strike since unrest began on Monday and Wednesday.
In a video circulating on social media, the sister of Javad Heydari, a man who died in anti-government protests, cut his hair at his grave against Iran’s Islamic dress code. Reuters was unable to verify the authenticity of the video.
The state has organized demonstrations to try to defuse the crisis.
While the protests over Amin’s death pose a major challenge to the government, analysts see no immediate threat to Iran’s leaders as elite security forces have quelled protests in the past.
Iran has accused armed Iranian Kurdish dissidents of participating in the unrest, particularly in the northwest, where most of Iran’s up to 10 million Kurds live.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards launched an artillery and drone attack on Iranian militant opposition bases in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, the second such attack in two days, state media said.
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Dubai Newsroom reporting; Additional reporting by Rachel More in Berlin and Ismail Shakil in Ottawa; Screenplay: Michael Georgy; Editing: Alison Williams, William Maclean, Grant McCool and Cynthia Osterman
Our standard: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.