The commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Hussein Salami, has called for an end to the street protests that have been going on for more than 40 days.
"The demonstrators should not overtax the patience of the system," the general warned on Saturday, according to a report by the state news agency IRNA. "We say it again to our young people: Today is the last day of the riots. Don't come out on the streets anymore." Nobody will allow the demonstrators to continue creating insecurity and turning the country's universities into a "battlefield".
In a speech, the general described the unrest since mid-September as a conspiracy by the US, Great Britain, Israel and Saudi Arabia because these countries had suffered political defeats at the hands of Iran in recent years. Young people should not be influenced by this. "Do not become pawns of the country's enemies," said the military commander. At the same time he offered the demonstrators: "The way back is still open for you."
Observers took the speech as a warning to end the protests immediately - although it is unlikely that this will be successful. The authoritarian leadership in Tehran blames foreign powers - above all the United States - for the protests. For more than a month, she has massively restricted the internet and blocked social networks to make collusion between demonstrators more difficult.
Alleged mosque attacker dies in Iran
The alleged perpetrator was shot by security forces and then taken to the hospital. Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi announced a "consistent response" to the attack. The chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, General Mohammad Bagheri, blamed the participants in the ongoing protests against the authoritarian leadership in Tehran.
The trigger for the mass protests was the death of 22-year-old Iranian Kurd Mahsa Amini in mid-September. The vice squad arrested her for allegedly violating Islamic dress codes. She then died in police custody. Since then, tens of thousands have been demonstrating across the country against the government's repressive course and the Islamic system of rule.
UN concerned about deaths in Iran protests
The United Nations has expressed "increasing concern" over reports of deaths in protests in Iran. "We condemn all incidents that result in the death or serious injury of protesters and reiterate that security forces must refrain from all unnecessary or unreasonable use of force against peaceful protesters," a UN spokesman said in New York yesterday. Those responsible must be held accountable.
The government of Iran called on the United Nations to respect human rights and take care of people's problems. The crisis can and should be brought under control through dialogue.