November 28, 2022

Yesterday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi blasted oppression, injustice and human rights abuses by the West, even as his shock forces brutally treat citizens back home.

Mr. Raisi was in New York for the 77th meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. He addressed the Assembly in a speech in which he condemned the violations committed by Canada against the indigenous population, by the United States against immigrants and by Israel against the Palestinians, but he ignored the violations of his regime.

“Human rights belong to everyone, but unfortunately they are being trampled on by other governments,” he said. We believe that any act of repression is a threat to world peace and stability. America cannot bear that some countries are able to stand on their own two feet.”

In his speech, Mr. Raisi listed a long list of grievances against the West, dating back to international pressure on Iran during the early 20th century until the 2020 US assassination of Revolutionary Guards commander Qassem Soleimani, who raised his portrait and waved before the general. assembly room.

He criticized the United States for tearing up the 2015 nuclear deal that his hardline faction opposed when his predecessor negotiated it, and accused Western powers of bullying Iran.

“What we seek is the rights of the Iranian nation, the Iranian people,” he said. A relationship based on oppression will not be tolerated. None of the Iranian nation’s successes were acceptable to world powers.”

Although Mr. Raisi has sought to flaunt Iran’s achievements and its international relations, much of the attention this week has focused on the brutal crackdown back home on the outbreak of a widespread popular protest sparked by the murder of a young woman last week.

And even as Mr. Raisi spoke, Iranians began warning about the throttling of internet lines and blocking social media like Instagram for the sixth consecutive day of protests since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, which began in dozens of cities. Cities across the country.

Over the past few days, videos posted online have shown elements of the Iranian regime in civilian clothes beating women with batons, firing tear gas canisters and possibly firing live ammunition directly into crowds.

At least six people have been killed so far in chaotic street clashes provoked by security forces who sought to quell public anger over the death of Ms. Amini, who had fallen into a coma while in custody by the morality police in Tehran. Among the dead was an aide to the regime in civilian clothes in Shiraz.

But the recent protests, which coincided with the international spotlight on Iran in New York, seem to have complicated the authorities’ calculations. The regime often refrained from using lethal force to quell the protests of urban elites, while imposing the full weight of the security services against ethnic minorities and marginalized communities on the periphery.

This week’s demonstrations attracted multiple social strata, sparking opposition even within the regime’s elite. In addition to the large areas in the heart of the Iranian Kurdish lands, protests erupted in the capital, Tehran, as well as Mashhad, Isfahan, Shiraz, Tabriz, Urmia, Rasht, Kerman, Bandar Abbas, Qom, Ardabil, Kermanshah, Zanjan, Sari, Rafsanjan, Mazandaran, Gorgan, Qazvin, Semnan and other cities.

Iran watchers say the killing of Amini, seen as an ordinary young woman who takes care of her own affairs, has affected and deepened tension among Iranians, and even conservative women who want to keep the veil mandatory are resentful.

The level of raw emotion has been compared to what Iranians felt after the downing of a Ukraine Airlines plane in 2020 by the Revolutionary Guards who mistakenly believed it was an American missile. On Iranian social media, influencers who have never touched on political topics have posted about Ms. Amini, who is an ethnic Kurd.

Demonstration in Tehran on Wednesday


Meanwhile, the Iranian regime’s mouthpieces criticized the protesters, describing them as perverts, seditious, troublemakers and subversives. State television has repeatedly indicated that Raisi has contacted Ms. Amini’s family and promised a full investigation into her death.

Officials downplayed the protests and blamed the unrest on international channels, including BBC Persian. A pro-government newspaper accused “counter-revolutionary media and terrorist groups” of exploiting Ms. Amini’s death to pursue their agenda.

However, senior officials and former officials have called on Iran to reduce the role of the morality police, known as the “Orientation Patrol”. During a rare television appearance, former Tehran mayor Gholamhossein Karbashi demanded a change in the rules that require women to abide by the Islamic dress code, which they vehemently oppose.

Representative Jalil Rahimi Jahana Abadi said parliament was considering a bill aimed at restricting the police’s authority.

“We have dozens of reports on a daily basis indicating that guidance patrols are detaining individuals with disrespect and mistreatment and leaving them behind to wrestle with dangerous traumatic experiences,” he was quoted as saying by a local newspaper.

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