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Wednesday, Dec 07, 2022

Raisi Condemns Biden's Pledge to 'Liberate Iran' as Protests Enter 8th Week

Raisi Condemns Biden's Pledge to 'Liberate Iran' as Protests Enter 8th Week

The anti-regime protests in Iran entered their eighth week amid division in the streets, as authorities organized annual rallies on the 43rd anniversary of the storming of the US embassy.
President Ebrahim Raisi said on Friday that Iran was "freed" from the US "clutches 43 years ago," in response to the US President, Joe Biden, who pledged to "free" Iran.

During a campaign in California, Biden was speaking as dozens of demonstrators gathered to support Iranian protesters.

"Don't worry, we're going to free Iran. They're going to free themselves pretty soon," said Biden.

Later, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said Biden expressed solidarity with protesters in Iran by telling a political rally that "we're gonna free Iran."

On Friday, Raisi delivered a speech at the ceremony commemorating the National Day of Fighting Arrogance and said, "Iran was freed from your clutches 43 years ago, and it is determined not to be your captive again."

He stated that the US wanted to slow Iran down and isolate the Iranian nation, but they failed in all these conspiracies.

The President warned that the enemy wants to destabilize Iran's security and stability and target "our unity and solidarity."

According to Reuters, Raisi described the protesters as "deceived traitors," adding: "I am telling Biden that Iran was freed 43 years ago."

The President stated that anyone who incites unrest, chaos, mayhem, or unrest anywhere in this country, whether he knows it or not, wants it or not, has moved in the direction of the strategy of the US and the enemy.

Raisi accused Washington of "pursuing a false illusion by copying the model of Libya and Syria in the Islamic Republic."

Iran holds annual rallies marking the 1979 seizure of the US embassy in Tehran when students stormed the embassy after the fall of the US-backed Shah, and 52 Americans were held hostage there for 444 days.

The incident caused the severance of diplomatic relations between Tehran and Washington.

According to AFP, the participants in the rally raised the Iranian flag and chanted "Death to America" ​​and "Death to Israel." They carried pictures of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the late Supreme Leader Khomeini.

This year's commemoration coincided with protests after Mahsa Amini died while being arrested by the morality police.

More than 300 people died in the crackdown launched by the authorities, including 46 children and members of the security forces.

Hundreds were arrested in the protests that included chants against the authorities, including Khamenei.

Several Western countries supported the protests and imposed sanctions on Tehran for suppressing the movements.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Hosein Amirabdollahian described what Biden said as "hypocrisy," tweeting that as the White House reaches out for an agreement, it simultaneously supports "violence and terror during recent riots in Iran."

The Iranian Foreign Ministry described the meeting of the Security Council on the Iranian protests upon the request of the US as an anti-Iranian meeting and "meddling in the internal affairs of independent states, which violates the UN Charter."

For his part, government spokesman Ali Bahadri Jahromi denied restricting the Internet in the country, asserting that only WhatsApp and Instagram platforms were blocked.

Referendum on policies

Protests renewed in several cities in Balochistan, southeastern Iran, where more than 90 people were killed on September 30.

Authorities shot protesters following public discontent in the region over the rape of a Baluch girl by a police leader.

State-run IRNA news agency reported that several police officers were injured on Friday by stones thrown by demonstrators in Khash when leaving Friday prayers.

Protesters set fire to a police station and chanted anti-government slogans.

In Zahedan, Friday prayers participants joined the protests, and a video clip shared on Twitter showed that the security forces used live ammunition and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.

The protesters were seen throwing stones at the security forces and chanting against the regime.

In turn, top Sunni cleric Molavi Abdulhamid criticized during the Friday sermon the authorities, urging authorities to respond to the demands of the protesters.

Abdulhamid called for an immediate referendum with international observers to change policies based on the people's wishes.

300 dead

The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) said on Friday that 300 protesters had died in the unrest on Thursday, including 46 minors and 36 members of the security forces.

It said that some 14,160 people had been arrested, including about 300 students, in protests in 133 cities and towns and 129 universities.

Assistant professor with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Saeid Golkar said that Iran is responsible for the radicalization of protests and violently suppressing protesters.

"People are just reacting to the state's brutal repression," he told AFP.

Hengaw, a Norway-based human rights organization, said Iran is losing its control over most cities and cannot regain this control by committing crimes.

The organization reported that 176 people had been killed in the security forces' response to protests sparked by Amini's death, and another 101 people have lost their lives in Zahedan.

It indicated that Iranian security forces arrested journalist Nazila Maroufian after she interviewed Amini's father.

She was detained on Sunday at the house of one of her relatives in Tehran and was transferred to Evin prison in the capital, Hengaw added, citing a telephone call she had made to her family.

According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 54 journalists were arrested during the crackdown on the protests, with a dozen confirmed released on bail so far.
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