Iran protests: At least 15 killed, Iranian leaders call for lawful protests

At least 15 people including one policeman have been killed in the protest against rising prices and unemployment since 28th December while over 400 protesters have reportedly been arrested as per the reports of Mehr News Agency.

The protests have engulfed the entire country, unprecedented in Iran.

Recognising the widespread support, all the Iranian leaders have exercised restraints and have called for citizens to abide by the law.

Iran’s judiciary chief Ayatollah Larijani yesterday called “on people to pursue demands via legal means”. Ayatollah Larijani made the remarks during a meeting with senior Iranian judiciary officials in reaction to the recent protests in Tehran and some other Iranian cities which were ignited by calls of certain social network abusers under the pretext of high prices and unemployment. Noting that some people may have legitimate demands, the official said that some other opportunists may take advantage of the situation, resorting to vandalizing and turmoil

Yesterday, Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatam, reacting to the protests also said that people’s demands could be met under peace, security and order in the framework of the law. ‘The Iranian people over the past four decades have emphasized using legal methods to ask for their legitimate rights, and they will continue to do so,’ Brigadier General Amir Hatam.

Earlier in his televised address President Hassan Rouhani also stated, “It should be clear to everyone that we are people of freedom. According to the constitution and citizens’ rights, people are free to express their criticism and to protest. However, we need to pay attention to the manner of that criticism and protest. It should be in such a way that it will lead to the improvement of the people and state.”

“People have the right to protest, but those demonstrations should not make the public feel concerned about their lives and security.”-also stated President Ruhani.

The remarks by the leaders of Iran are unprecedented and indicate the scale of the project.

Yesterday US President Donald Trump once again tweeted that Iran’s wealth are being looted.

Sputnik reported that the Russian Foreign Ministry while commenting on the current situation in Tehran stated, “External interference [in Iran’s internal affairs] which may destabilize the situation is unacceptable.”

A Deputy Governor of the Lorestan province in an interview on state TV stated, “No shots were fired by the police and security forces. We have found evidence of enemies of the revolution, Takfirist groups and foreign agents in this clash.”

Shahin Gobadi, Spokesman People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) stated that protestors were shot at directly.

Dilip Chakma

Dilip Chakma

Dilip Chakma is a lawyer and alumni of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU).
Dilip Chakma
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