Iran parliament speaker says protests might weaken society

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iran’s parliamentary speaker warned Sunday that protests over the loss of life of a younger girl in police custody might destabilize the nation and urged safety forces to deal harshly with these he claimed endanger public order.

Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf informed lawmakers that not like the present protests, which he mentioned purpose to topple the federal government, earlier demonstrations by lecturers and retirees over pay had been geared toward reforms, in response to the legislative physique’s web site.

“The necessary level of the (previous) protests was that they had been reform-seeking and never geared toward overthrowing” the system, mentioned Qalibaf. “I ask all who’ve any (causes to) protest to not enable their protest to show into destabilizing and toppling” of establishments.

Hundreds of Iranians have taken to the streets during the last two weeks to protest the loss of life of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old girl who had been detained by Iran’s morality police within the capital of Tehran for allegedly not adhering to Iran’s strict Islamic costume code.

The protesters have vented their anger over the therapy of girls and wider repression within the Islamic Republic. The nationwide demonstrations quickly escalated into requires the overthrow of the clerical institution that has dominated Iran since its 1979 Islamic revolution.

The protests have drawn supporters from varied ethnic teams, together with Kurdish opposition actions within the northwest of Iran that function alongside the border with neighboring Iraq. Amini was an Iranian Kurd and the protests first erupted in Kurdish areas.

Iranian state TV has reported that a minimum of 41 protesters and police have been killed for the reason that demonstrations started Sept. 17. An Related Press rely of official statements by authorities tallied a minimum of 14 useless, with greater than 1,500 demonstrators arrested.

Qalibaf, the parliamentary speaker, is a former influential commander within the paramilitary Islamic Revolutionary Guard. Together with the president and the top of the judiciary, he’s one in every of three rating officers who cope with all necessary problems with the nation.

The three meet often and typically meet with Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has ultimate say on all state issues.

Qalibaf mentioned he believes a lot of these collaborating in current protests had no intention of in search of to overthrow the federal government at first and claimed foreign-based opposition teams had been fomenting protests geared toward tearing down the system. Iranian authorities haven’t introduced proof for his or her allegations of overseas involvement within the protests.

“Creating chaos within the streets will weaken social integrity, jeopardizing the economic system whereas rising stress and sanctions by the enemy,” he mentioned, referring to longstanding crippling U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Qalibaf promised to “amend the constructions and strategies of the morality police” to stop a recurrence of what occurred to Amini. The younger girl died within the custody of the morality police. Her household alleged she was overwhelmed, whereas officers declare she died of a coronary heart assault.

His remarks got here after a closed assembly of Parliament and a quick rally by lawmakers to voice help for Khamenei and the police, chanting “loss of life to hypocrites,” a reference to Iranian opposition teams.

The assertion by Qalibaf is seen as an attraction to Iranians to cease their protests whereas supporting police and the safety equipment.

In the meantime, the hard-line Kayhan day by day mentioned Sunday that knife-carrying protesters attacked the newspaper constructing Saturday and shattered home windows with rocks. It mentioned they left when Guard members had been deployed to the positioning.

On Saturday, protests continued on the Tehran College campus and in close by neighborhoods and witnesses mentioned they noticed many younger ladies waving their head scarves above their heads in a gesture of defiance. Social media carried movies purportedly displaying related protests on the Mashhad and Shiraz universities however The Related Press couldn’t independently confirm their authenticity.

A protester close to Tehran College, 19-year-old Fatemeh who solely gave her first title for concern of repercussions, mentioned she joined the demonstration “to cease this habits by police in opposition to youthful folks particularly ladies.”

Abdolali, a 63-year-old trainer who additionally declined to provide his final title, mentioned he was shot twice within the foot by police. He mentioned: “I’m right here to accompany and help my daughter. I as soon as participated within the 1979 Islamic Revolution that promised justice and freedom; it’s time to materialize them.”

There have been no instant official reviews of Sunday demonstrations, although some on social media mentioned protests had resumed at universities in Tehran and Mashhad.

On Sunday afternoon, witnesses mentioned safety was tight within the areas close by Tehran College and its neighborhoods downtown as a whole lot of anti-riot police and plain garments with their automobiles and motorbikes had been stationed on junctions and squares. Native retailers and companies appeared open as regular.

Additionally on Sunday, media retailers reported the loss of life of one other Revolutionary Guard member within the southeastern metropolis of Zahedan. That introduced to 5 the variety of IRG members killed in an assault on a police station by gunmen that, in response to state media, left 19 folks useless.

It wasn’t clear if the assault, which Iran mentioned was carried out by separatists, was associated to the anti-government protests gripping Iran.

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