The head of Iran’s highly effective Revolutionary Guards warned protesters that Saturday could be their last day of taking to the streets, in an indication that safety forces could intensify their already fierce crackdown on unrest sweeping the nation.
Iran has been gripped by protests for the reason that demise of 22-year-old Kurdish girl Mahsa Amini within the custody of the morality police last month, posing one of the boldest challenges to the clerical management for the reason that 1979 revolution.
“Do not come to the streets! Today is the last day of the riots,” Guards commander Hossein Salami mentioned in some of the hardest language used within the disaster, which Iran’s clerical management blames on its international enemies together with Israel and the United States.
“This sinister plan, is a plan hatched … within the White House and the Zionist regime,” Salami mentioned. “Don’t promote your honour to America and do not slap the safety forces who’re defending you within the face.”
Iranians have defied such warnings all through the favored revolt during which ladies have performed a outstanding position. There had been extra stories of contemporary bloodshed and renewed protests on Saturday.
Human rights group Hengaw reported safety forces capturing college students at a ladies’ college within the metropolis of Saqez. In one other submit, it mentioned safety forces opened fireplace on college students at Kurdistan University of Medical Science, within the Kurdistan provincial capital of Sanandaj.
Several college students had been injured, one of them shot within the head, Hengaw mentioned. Reuters couldn’t confirm this report.
PROTESTERS ON TRIAL
The extensively feared Revolutionary Guards, an elite drive with a monitor report of crushing dissent which stories on to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, haven’t been deployed since demonstrations started last month.
But the warning by Salami, who was talking at a funeral of victims killed in an assault this week claimed by Islamic State, suggests Khamenei might unleash them within the face of relentless demonstrations now targeted on toppling the Islamic Republic.
Videos posted on social media by activist teams purported to point out protests at a quantity of universities throughout the nation in cities together with Kerman, Mashhad, Qazvin, Ahvaz, Arak, Kermanshah, Yazd and a dozen campuses within the capital, Tehran.
The activist HRANA information company posted a video which it mentioned confirmed protests at a college holding palms in a big circle and chanting: “If we do not unite, we will probably be killed one after the other.”
HRANA mentioned 272 protesters had been killed within the unrest as of Friday together with 39 minors and 34 members of the safety forces. Nearly 14,000 folks have been arrested in protests in 129 cities and cities and a few 115 universities.
A hardline Revolutionary Court started the trials of some of the 315 protesters charged thus far in Tehran, not less than 5 of whom are accused of capital offenses, the official information company IRNA reported.
The defendants embrace a person accused of hitting and killing a police officer along with his automotive and injuring 5 others, IRNA mentioned. He is charged with “spreading corruption on earth,” an offense punishable by demise beneath Iran’s Islamic legal guidelines.
Another man is charged with the capital offense of “moharebeh” – an Islamic time period that means warring towards God – for allegedly attacking police with a knife and serving to set fireplace to a authorities constructing in a city close to Tehran, IRNA added.
The court docket is headed by Abolghassem Salavati, a choose on whom the United States imposed sanctions in 2019 after accusing him of having punished Iranian residents and twin nationals for exercising their freedoms of speech and aggregation.
(Editing by Andrew Cawthorne, Helen Popper and Frances Kerry)