Iran. The Islamic regime is trying to muzzle the protest movement

“Woman, life and freedom”. The slogan runs through the streets of Iranian cities, carried by hundreds of thousands of people. At bay, the Iranian power is trying, for the moment, to curb at a lower cost the protest movement which has spread across the country after the death of Mahsa Amini. The repression is particularly harsh in the towns of Kurdistan where the 22-year-old young woman, who died after being arrested by the morality police for wearing “inappropriate clothing”. But the fed up is such that the demonstrations have spread to the capital and to at least 50 towns and villages. Amini’s death has rekindled anger over issues such as restrictions on personal freedoms in Iran, strict dress codes for women and a sanctions-reeling economy. The shock exceeded, the anger was expressed widely in Iran. Thousands of women revealed themselves by leading the demonstrations (some even threw their headscarves into the fire), supported by as many men.

All generations merge and the demand for the abolition of the law making it compulsory to wear the veil, in force for forty years, represents the symbol of the refusal of any coercion. Because it is the regime as a whole, hated, which is rejected by the crowds of demonstrators.

A regime which, although shouted down and defended by a final minority, does not intend to give way so easily. While expressing their sympathy for Amini’s family, the Revolutionary Guards have just raised their voices and warn against any continuation of the movement. For those who know the Pasdaran the threat is barely…veiled. Their troops could surge unceremoniously as they have done in every period of protest, especially in 2019. “These desperate actions are part of the enemy’s diabolical strategy to weaken the Islamic regime”, the army said. She claimed that she “would confront the various plots of the enemies in order to secure safety and peace for those who are unjustly attacked”. Iran’s intelligence ministry has also tried to break the momentum of the protests, saying participation in the protests is illegal and anyone who participates will be prosecuted.

Iranian media reported the arrest of 288 people while around 30 others were killed.

And, as one might expect, the authorities are trying to mobilize their troops. On the occasion of the great Friday prayer, counter-demonstrations were organized, jeering at the anti-government demonstrators, who were described as “soldiers of Israel”. They also shouted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”common slogans that the country’s clerical leaders use in an attempt to drum up support for the authorities. “Breakers of the Koran must be executed”chanted the crowd.

Friday Prayer Imam Seyed Ahmad Khatami set the tone in his sermon at Tehran University. “I strongly call on the judiciary to act quickly against the rioters who brutalize people, set fire to public property and burn the Koran”he said, according to footage from state television. “Punish these criminals with the weapon of the law”, he launched. The faithful, for their part, held up signs thanking the police, “backbone of the country”and attacked women who burn their veils. “To advocate the end of the veil is to play American politics”they chanted.

In reality, Iranian clerical leaders fear a resumption of protests that erupted in 2019 over the bloodiest gasoline price hike in the Islamic Republic’s history. A new mobile internet disruption has been recorded in the country, internet monitoring group Netblocks pointed out on Twitter, in a possible sign that authorities fear protests may escalate. The link between social demands and those of women would be terrible for the regime. Many trade unionists are already imprisoned for their role in labor mobilizations and for having met foreign trade unionists. This is the case of Reza Shahabi, from the workers’ union of the Tehran bus company (Sherkat-e Vahed), arrested on May 12 in the Iranian capital and who could be sentenced to several years in prison. Challenging the Islamic order and ultra-liberal orientations could indeed open the way to a new future for Iranians.

What Ebrahim Raïssi understood well. Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the Iranian president said on Thursday that “acts of chaos” were not acceptable. He added that he had ordered an investigation into the case of Mahsa Amini. Not enough to appease the anger of the Iranians.

In France, rallies to denounce the murder of MAHSA AMINI and support the demonstrations in Iran will take place on Saturday September 24 in many cities. In Paris meet at 3:00 p.m. Place d’Italie and at 5:30 p.m. Fontaine des Innocents Métro Les Halles


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