Iran says it will sue US, alleging ‘direct involvement’ in protests


Iran said on Saturday it would take legal action against the United States, accusing it of « direct involvement » in the protests sweeping the country.

Tehran also warned that the UK and Saudi Arabia would « not be ignored by the Islamic Republic’s justice system » for their role in hosting and supporting television networks such as BBC Persian and Iran International – who he said had urged protesters to « destroy public and private networks ». Properties. »

Anti-government protests have gripped Iran since the September 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died after being pulled off the streets of Tehran by vice police and taken to a ‘re-education centre’ for lessons of modesty.

Strikes and demonstrations have become commonplace in cities and towns across the country and in the capital, chants of « death to the dictator » – in reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei – often ring out from rooftops at night.

US President Joe Biden has thrown his support behind the protesters, promising costs « to perpetrators of violence against peaceful protesters » and saying the US stands with the « brave women of Iran who are protesting at this time to ensure their basic rights ».

The United States also announced sanctions against Iran’s vice police « for abuse and violence against Iranian women and violation of the rights of peaceful Iranian protesters » and is working to make it easier for Iranians to access the internet.

This is not the first time that Iran has accused the United States of interfering in anti-government protests – it made similar statements in 2018.

State news agency IRNA reported on Saturday that the Justice Department « has been instructed to take legal action to investigate the damage and interference inflicted by the direct involvement of the United States. in troubles ». He also reported the allegations against the BBC and Iran International, made by Iran’s deputy judiciary chief and secretary of the country’s High Council for Human Rights, Kazem Gharibabadi.

The report did not specify which court would hear such a case.

Meanwhile, protests continue both in Iran and in solidarity movements around the world, with large demonstrations in Berlin and Tokyo on Saturday.

In Iran, business owners and factory workers from the Kurdistan region went on strike and university students across the country joined the protests.

A video shared with CNN by pro-reform activist outlet IranWire, shows Sanandaj, the capital of the Kurdish region, eerily quiet at the start of the working week as shops remain closed.

Norway-based Iranian rights group Hengaw said shopkeepers were also on strike in Bukan, Sanandaj and Marivan, although CNN cannot independently verify this information.

On Saturday, videos of protests against the Iranian regime released by IranWire showed a crowd at Shahid Behasti University in Tehran chanting « Freedom, freedom, death to the dictator, death to Khamenei ».

Workers at the Aidin chocolate factory in Tabriz have gone on strike in solidarity with the nationwide protests. (IranWire)

According to IranWire, students at the University of Tabriz in East Azerbaijan province also took to the streets chanting in unison that regime change was on the horizon, and at the university in Yazd, Yazd Province, students sang a century-old pre-revolutionary hymn.

An eyewitness told CNN that local school girls who joined protests calling for ‘freedom’ and ‘death to the dictator’ were arrested by police moments later and loaded into black pickup trucks .

Outside Iran, video released by Radio Free Liberty showed protesters on a promenade in Sydney, Australia, chanting « freedom » on Saturday.

German public broadcaster RBB reported demonstrations of solidarity with nearly 80,000 people in Berlin.

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