Protests continue for fourth week, Khamenei warns protesters against "undermining" Iran

Protests continue for fourth week, Khamenei warns protesters against "undermining" Iran Today, Friday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned demonstrators against what he called "undermining the Islamic Republic", amid continuing unrest for the fourth consecutive week after the death of the young woman, Mahsa Amini, as several Iranian cities witnessed an intense police deployment.  Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said on Friday that no one could dare to think of undermining Iran, in the heaviest warning to protesters since the death of the young woman, Mahsa Amini, while in police custody sparked nationwide unrest now in its fourth week.  Demonstrations involving people from all walks of life and different sects in Iran after Amini's killing turned into widespread calls for Khamenei's overthrow and the "death of the Islamic Republic."  The protests represent one of the boldest challenges facing the country since the 1979 revolution, even if the unrest is not close to toppling the regime.  Khamenei likened Iran to a fixed tree. In statements broadcast on state television, he said that there were those who stood "against the Islamic Republic, imagining that this plant can be uprooted, but today this plant has become a stable tree and whoever thinks of uprooting it is mistaken."  Some of the deadliest unrest occurred in areas inhabited by ethnic minorities with longstanding grievances of the state, including the Kurds in the northwest and Baluchis in the southeast.  Human rights groups say more than 200 have been killed in the crackdown across the country, including teenage girls.  Amnesty International said that at least 23 children were killed by security forces in Iran during the protests. They range in age from 11 to 17, and include 20 boys and three girls.  Amini, an Iranian Kurd, died on 16 September after being arrested in Tehran for wearing “inappropriate clothes”.  Iran blamed the violence on enemies at home and abroad, including armed separatists and Western forces, accusing them of plotting against the Islamic Republic, and denied security forces killing protesters. On the other hand, state television reported that at least 26 security forces had been killed.  Deaths on the rise  On 30 September, Zahedan witnessed one of the bloodiest days to date, when Amnesty International said that security forces killed at least 66 people that day in a post-prayer crackdown.  The authorities said that Baloch gunmen attacked a police station that day, which led to an exchange of fire. The Revolutionary Guard announced that five of its members and the Basij were killed.  Iran has a population of approximately 87 million, and has seven ethnic minorities along with the Persian majority. Human rights groups say minorities, including Kurds and Arabs, have long been discriminated against, while Iran denies this.  State television reported that an officer of the Revolutionary Guards and a member of the Basij were killed by "rioters" in the early hours of Friday morning in Fars province in the south. And a news agency indicated that they were shot after confronting "two rioters" who were writing on walls.  Social media users reacted angrily to a video clip that appeared to show a riot police molesting a female protester in Tehran. Reuters was unable to verify the clip.  Ansieh Khazali, Vice President for Women's Affairs, called for an investigation into the matter, according to what was reported by official media. The police said they would hold anyone found guilty of an offense accountable.  In the southwestern oil city of Abadan, another witness said that protesters were chanting "Death to the dictator" amid a heavy deployment of Basij and riot police on Friday.

Today, Friday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned demonstrators against what he called "undermining the Islamic Republic", amid continuing unrest for the fourth consecutive week after the death of the young woman, Mahsa Amini, as several Iranian cities witnessed an intense police deployment.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said on Friday that no one could dare to think of undermining Iran, in the heaviest warning to protesters since the death of the young woman, Mahsa Amini, while in police custody sparked nationwide unrest now in its fourth week.

Demonstrations involving people from all walks of life and different sects in Iran after Amini's killing turned into widespread calls for Khamenei's overthrow and the "death of the Islamic Republic."

The protests represent one of the boldest challenges facing the country since the 1979 revolution, even if the unrest is not close to toppling the regime.

Khamenei likened Iran to a fixed tree. In statements broadcast on state television, he said that there were those who stood "against the Islamic Republic, imagining that this plant can be uprooted, but today this plant has become a stable tree and whoever thinks of uprooting it is mistaken."

Some of the deadliest unrest occurred in areas inhabited by ethnic minorities with longstanding grievances of the state, including the Kurds in the northwest and Baluchis in the southeast.

Human rights groups say more than 200 have been killed in the crackdown across the country, including teenage girls.

Amnesty International said that at least 23 children were killed by security forces in Iran during the protests. They range in age from 11 to 17, and include 20 boys and three girls.

Amini, an Iranian Kurd, died on 16 September after being arrested in Tehran for wearing “inappropriate clothes”.

Iran blamed the violence on enemies at home and abroad, including armed separatists and Western forces, accusing them of plotting against the Islamic Republic, and denied security forces killing protesters. On the other hand, state television reported that at least 26 security forces had been killed.

Deaths on the rise

On 30 September, Zahedan witnessed one of the bloodiest days to date, when Amnesty International said that security forces killed at least 66 people that day in a post-prayer crackdown.

The authorities said that Baloch gunmen attacked a police station that day, which led to an exchange of fire. The Revolutionary Guard announced that five of its members and the Basij were killed.

Iran has a population of approximately 87 million, and has seven ethnic minorities along with the Persian majority. Human rights groups say minorities, including Kurds and Arabs, have long been discriminated against, while Iran denies this.

State television reported that an officer of the Revolutionary Guards and a member of the Basij were killed by "rioters" in the early hours of Friday morning in Fars province in the south. And a news agency indicated that they were shot after confronting "two rioters" who were writing on walls.

Social media users reacted angrily to a video clip that appeared to show a riot police molesting a female protester in Tehran. Reuters was unable to verify the clip.

Ansieh Khazali, Vice President for Women's Affairs, called for an investigation into the matter, according to what was reported by official media. The police said they would hold anyone found guilty of an offense accountable.

In the southwestern oil city of Abadan, another witness said that protesters were chanting "Death to the dictator" amid a heavy deployment of Basij and riot police on Friday.
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