Iran’s president has promised to “deal decisively” with the growing number of protests across the country, sparked by the death of a 22-year-old woman detained by the regime’s morality police.
Since the beginning of the protests over the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody, 35 people have died according to official reports.
Violent clashes have erupted in a number of cities.
According to reports, Ms. Amini had breached the strict regulations requiring females to wear a headscarf. It is reported that law enforcement assaulted her with a baton and hit her head on a vehicle. Authorities said she suffered a “sudden heart failure” and showed no sign of injury.
With Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi having long advocated for strict Islamist values, it is difficult to see how he will bring about an end to the unrest, given he is unlikely to expand civil liberties.
Further escalation is highly likely, with neither protesters nor security personnel seemingly willing to back down.
In recent days violence has erupted in dozens of locations around the nation, as depicted by videos posted on social media platforms. In Piranshahr, Mahabad, and Urmia, security forces were observed firing live ammunition at protesters.
More clashes occurred on Saturday, with the largest taking place in Tehran. Photo on social media show protesters throwing petrol bombs at police.
Huge numbers of young people and those opposed to rigorous cultural restrictions on how women act and what they wear have rallied around Amini’s death.
Smartphones have been utilized as organizing tools, and messages with demonstration locations have been widely shared despite internet outages as authorities seek to disrupt communications.
Footage from Tehran today showed large groups walking through the city unconfronted by law enforcement, with the sound of explosions audible.