Even as Iran continued to be at the centre of global criticism and nationwide protests over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini during police custody, the Iranian army said on Friday it will “confront the enemies” to ensure security, the toughest warning yet to nationwide protesters enraged by the death of a woman held by police.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on Thursday that he had ordered an investigation into the case of Mahsa Amini, 22, who died last week after being arrested for wearing “unsuitable attire.” Speaking at a news conference on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, he also used the opportunity to turn tables and ask, “What about all the people killed by American police?” Raisi added that “acts of chaos” are not acceptable, in a warning to protesters who have taken to the streets across the country in fury over the death of a woman in the morality police’s custody. “There is freedom of expression in Iran … but acts of chaos are unacceptable,” said Raisi, who is facing the biggest protests in the Islamic Republic since 2019.
At least 31 civilians are reported to have lost their lives, according to news agency AFP. In a related development, holding the morality police responsible for Amini’s death, the United States imposed sanctions on Iran’s morality police and on Iran’s minister of intelligence, accusing them of abuse and violence against Iranian women and of violating the rights of peaceful Iranian protesters, the U.S. Treasury said.