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Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei blames US for protests over death of Mahsa Amini

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Tehran | October 3, 2022 10:57:52 PM IST
Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has blamed the United States for the ongoing protest in the country, following the death of Mahsa Amini who died in custody after being arrested for allegedly violating strict dress code.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony on Monday, Khamenei said he was heartbroken at the death of the 22-year-old girl in police custody. However, he did not approve of the large-scale demonstrations following the death of Amini.

"We were heartbroken, too. But the reaction to this incident, while no investigation has been done and nothing has been certain, should not have been this that some people come and make the streets insecure, cause the people to feel unsafe, harm the security, burn the Quran, remove the hijab of a woman, burn mosques and hussainiyahs, and arson banks and people's cars," he was quoted as saying by news agency IRNA.

Ayatollah Khamenei alleged that this chaos was planned by the United States and some Iranians who are living abroad have helped them.

Amini, 22, was arrested by Iran's "morality police" in the capital, Tehran, on September 13, for allegedly not wearing a hijab in full compliance with mandatory requirements. According to the authorities, she fell into a coma shortly after collapsing at a detention centre and died three days later from a heart attack.

Since her death, thousands have joined anti-government demonstrations throughout the country. Security forces have responded at times with live ammunition, and many people have been killed, injured and detained in the protests.

More than 100 people have been killed in nationwide protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, according to the Norway-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR) NGO. The group said the international community has a duty to investigate this crime and prevent further crimes from being committed by Iran.

Last week, the UN chief Antonio Guterres said he was becoming "increasingly concerned" about reports of the death toll rising, "including women and children."

In his statement released via his Spokesperson, UN Secretary-General said he had been following events closely, and he called on security forces to stop using "unnecessary or disproportionate force".

He appealed for restraint, to avoid any escalation: "We underline the need for a prompt, impartial and effective investigation into Mahsa Amini's death by an independent competent authority." (ANI)

 
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