- Elite force commander issues one of the toughest warnings ever
- Rights groups report new demonstrations and bloodshed
- Revolutionary Guards have not been deployed since the protests began
DUBAI, Oct 29 (Reuters) – The head of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards has warned protesters that Saturday will be the last day of their curfew in the clearest sign that security forces may intensify their crackdown on the already violent widespread unrest.
Iran has been in the grip of protests since the death of the 22-year-old Kurdish woman. Mahsa Emin under the supervision moral rack Last month he posed one of the boldest challenges to clerical leadership since the 1979 revolution.
“Don’t go out! Today is the last day of riots,” said Guards commander Hussein Salami, in some of the harshest language used in the crisis, in which Iranian leaders blamed their external enemies, including Israel and the United States.
“This sinister plan is a plan prepared in the White House and the Zionist regime,” Salami said. “Do not sell your honor to America and do not slap the security forces defending you in the face.”
Iranians resisted such warnings throughout the popular uprising, in which women played an important role. On Saturday there were reports of more bloodshed and renewed protests.
The human rights group Hengaw reported that security forces shot students at a girls’ school in the city of Saqez. In another post, it was stated that security forces opened fire on students at a medical university in Sanandaj, the capital of the Kurdistan province.
Hengaw said several students were injured and one was shot in the head. Reuters could not confirm the report.
New protests broke out in the Kurdish town of Marivan late Saturday, according to social media videos showing demonstrators opening fire in the streets as gunfire was heard. Reuters was unable to verify the videos.
The Twitter account @1500tasvir, which has around 300,000 followers, posted videos of protesters lighting a bonfire with debris and motorcycles seized from the police in the northwestern city of Astara.
Meanwhile, @1500tasvir and other Twitter accounts said that security forces surrounded some campuses, including Mashhad Azad University and Tehran University Technical Faculty, to arrest student activists.
In another show of defiance, protesters in the small northern town of Lasht-e Nesha shouted, “Priests must disappear!” according to a video on @1500tasvir. they held a loud street rally.
The images could not be verified by Reuters.
PROTESTS AT THE TRIAL
The widely feared Revolutionary Guards, an elite force with a history of crushing opposition and reporting directly to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has not been deployed since demonstrations began last month.
But Salami’s warning indicates that Khamenei can now unleash them in the face of relentless demonstrations focused on overthrowing the Islamic Republic.
Videos previously posted on social media by activist groups allegedly showed protests at a number of universities across the country, including Kerman, Mashhad, Qazvin, Ahvaz, Arak, Kermanshah, Yazd, Bushehr and a dozen campuses in the capital Tehran.
Activist HRANA news agency said 272 protesters, including 39 minors, were killed in the unrest on Friday. 34 members of the security forces were also killed. Nearly 14,000 people were arrested in protests in 129 towns and cities and 115 universities.
A tough Revolutionary Tribunal has begun the trial of some of the 315 protesters in Tehran so far accused, of which at least five have been sentenced to death, the official news agency IRNA reported.
IRNA said the defendants included a man accused of hitting and killing a police officer with his car and injuring five others. He is accused of “spreading corruption around the world”, a crime punishable by death under Iran’s Islamic law.
IRNA added that another person was charged with “combat”, an Islamic term meaning war against Allah, for allegedly attacking police with a knife and helping set fire to a government building in a town near Tehran.
The court is presided over by Abolghassem Salavati, a judge the United States sanctioned in 2019 after accusing him of punishing Iranian nationals and dual citizens for exercising their freedom of expression and assembly.
In a speech at the funeral of victims killed in an attack, Salami warned the protesters. attack this week Claimed by the Islamic State.
A man the militant group says carried out the attack that killed 15 worshipers at the Shah Cheragh shrine in the city of Shiraz pledged allegiance to ISIS in a video posted on his Telegram account on Saturday. Iranian officials said he died from injuries sustained during his arrest.
reporting by Dubai newsroom; Additional reports by Moaz Abd-Alziz in Cairo; Written by Michael Georgy Edited by Frances Kerry, Christina Fincher and Chris Reese
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