The leader of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards has told Iranians to end the weeks-long protests that have gripped the country, warning that Saturday would be their “last day” of protest.
Speaking at the funeral of the victims of the Islamic State-led attack in the city of Shiraz on Wednesday, Hossein Salami specifically called on young Iranians to refrain from protesting.
“Today is the last day of the riots. Don’t come back to the streets again. What do you want from this nation? said Salami.
Protests have swept the Islamic Republic for weeks after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died on September 16 after being detained by ‘morals police’ and taken to a ‘re-education centre’, allegedly for not having adhered to the country’s conservative dress code.
Protesters in the eastern city of Zahedan were subjected to tear gas and gunfire after Friday prayers, according to videos posted on social media and provided by IranWire, an activist website. At least one 12-year-old boy was shot dead, according to a video posted on social media by militant group 1500tasvir.
Salami criticized the supposed influence of American and Israeli politicians on the protest movement, alleging that they “do not call you directly, but through their media they force you to face your society”.
He previously issued a warning to Saudi Arabia last week as its government continued to clash with protesters at home. “You are involved in this case and know that you are vulnerable, it is better to be careful,” he said on the sidelines of a military exercise last week.
Salami was referring to what state media called a “media war” which they say is being waged against “the youth and the nation of Iran” by foreign conspirators seeking to create unrest in the country by supporting the protesters.
Then on Thursday, Iran again warned Saudi Arabia, along with the United States and the United Kingdom, to “stop interfering in the country’s internal affairs.”
The next day, Iran accused the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the US State Department of playing a major role in recent protests in Iran by meeting and cooperating with leaders of Iran’s Kurdistan region on last month, in a press release.
A rare joint statement by the IRGC’s intelligence unit and the intelligence ministry was published on Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency. The IRGC is a branch of the Iranian armed forces, founded after the Iranian revolution in 1979 by order of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
The statement said the CIA, under cover of the US State Department, visited the headquarters of the “separatist group called the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran” in the city of Erbil, in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, and met and spoke with the leader of this group. group named Mustafa Hijri.
He also added that the “American spy organization” wanted to play a bigger role in the unrest in some cities of Iranian Kurdistan.
The CIA declined to comment on the matter. The US State Department did not respond on Friday, but on October 14, in a meeting with Iranian civil society activists, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “I know the Iranian regime will try to paint this and other expressions of solidarity with those who stand up. for their freedoms as proof that these protests are somehow made outside of Iran, the work of others, and if so, if they sincerely believe that they fundamentally do not understand their own people,” Blinken said, “because this is about the struggle of Iran, the struggle of the Iranian people for fundamental freedoms that have long been denied, that is what this is about.
“The sooner the regime understands this and acts on it, the better off everyone will be,” he said.