Iran’s Khamenei supports police over Mahsa Amini protests, which could signal tougher crackdowns

Iran's Khamenei supports police over Mahsa Amini protests, which could signal tougher crackdowns
Written by admin

  • Public anger is growing over the death of a woman in police custody
  • Khamenei: My uncle’s death broke my heart
  • The supreme leader blames foreign enemies for the “riots”.
  • Anti-government protests have also spread to universities

DUBAI, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Iran’s supreme leader on Monday gave his full support to security forces against protests sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amin, and may signal tougher measures to quell the unrest more than two weeks after his death.

In his first appearance since the 22-year-old’s death his arrest by the morality police Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Amin’s death “deeply broke my heart” due to “improper clothing” and called it a “bitter incident” provoked by Iran’s enemies.

“The duty of our security forces, including the police, is to ensure the safety of the Iranian people… Those who attack the police leave Iranian citizens defenseless against bandits, robbers and extortionists,” Khamenei told a group of armed forces cadets. in Tehran.

Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to

Security forces, including police and volunteer Basij militias, have broken up the protests, arresting thousands and injuring hundreds, according to rights groups, who put the death toll at more than 130.

Iranian authorities have said scores of security forces have been killed in the unrest, which has become the largest demonstration of opposition to Iranian rule in recent years, and many have called for an end to more than 40 years of Islamic clerical rule.

Khamenei said that the security forces faced “injustice” during the protests.

“Some people caused insecurity in the streets,” Khamenei said, strongly condemning what he described as planned “riots” and accusing the Islamic Republic’s arch-rivals the United States and Israel of orchestrating the unrest.

The harsh crackdown on the protests has drawn widespread international condemnation. The White House condemned the crackdown and Britain summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires, condemning the crackdown as “truly shocking”.


A few hours after Amini’s funeral in the Kurdish town of Sagez in September. According to videos circulating on social media, 17,000 Iranians took to the streets across the country, burning effigies of Khamenei and chanting “Death to the dictator”.

Officials and analysts told Reuters that the Islamic Republic still has little chance of falling in the near term because its leaders are determined not to show the kind of weakness that sealed the fate of the US-backed shah in 1979.

However, the unrest calls into question the priority that has defined Khamenei’s rule – the survival, at any cost, of the four-decade-old Islamic Republic and its religious elite.

“Those who incite riots to provoke the Islamic Republic deserve severe persecution and punishment,” Khamenei said.

The protests have not abated despite the rising death toll and an increasingly violent crackdown by security forces using tear gas, batons and, in some cases, live bullets, according to videos circulating on social media and rights groups.

Ignoring Khamenei’s warning, Iranians in several cities chanted “We want regime change” and “Death to Khamenei” from rooftops at night.

In an unprecedented move, high school students in dozens of cities are joining protests, refusing to attend classes and walking the streets without the mandatory headscarf. In videos circulating on social networks, young girls in the city of Karaj can be seen chanting “Freedom, Freedom”.

Demonstrations have spread to dozens of universities, with university students staging strikes on Sunday to protest an attack by security forces at Tehran’s famous Sharif University. Dozens of students were arrested many were injured due to his social media posts and videos.

Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to

Reporting by Parisa Hafezi; Written by Tom Perry and Parisa Hafezi; Edited by Toby Chopra, Mark Heinrich and Grant McCool

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

About the author


Leave a Comment