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Iranians in Brussels ask for support; in Iran, cleric promises crackdown

Dozens of supporters of an Iranian opposition group gathered opposite EU institutions on Friday calling on EU leaders to hear the demands of Iranian protestors back in their homeland. Meanwhile, a senior cleric associated with the regime says Iran’s judiciary should take harsh measures against protesters claiming that anyone who thinks the country’s rulers will fall is dreaming,

The demonstration in Brussels was organised by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) to coincide with a discussion on foreign policy on the agenda of a two-day EU summit held. The agenda at the meeting does not include the situation in Iran, but the protestors are hoping they can get the EU leadership’s attention.

“We are asking that the European community and the European Union tune their tone towards the Iranian regime to do what the Iranian people are asking in the streets of Iran. They’re asking for regime change, they don’t want any appeasement with this regime,” said Alladin Touran o the NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee. “We think that this regime has to go as the Iranian people are asking that they go – the Mullahs – and we’re asking that the European Union pay attention to the human rights situation, especially the massacres in the prisons.”

Iran is presently experiencing massive protests, which time and time again have devolved into violence as the regime uses force to crack down on them.

The people’s outrage was ignited by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who had been detained by Iran’s morality police for what they deemed “inappropriate dress”. Amini was released from custody with grievous injuries, which later proved fatal.

The demonstrations have turned into one of the boldest challenges the Islamic Republic has faced since the 1979 revolution, even though the unrest does not appear close to toppling the system. This is not however discouraging protestors at home, or those supporting them abroad.

“[The protest] is now covering the universities, the industries, even the lawyers. All the people in the streets in more than 190 cities all over the country,” said Touran. “So there’s no stopping of that, it might be coming down and then upheavals again but it will not stop before achieving the goals of the Iranian people for liberty and democracy.”

Iran’s hardliners vow a crackdown

“They have told deceived kids if they stay in the streets for a week the regime will fall. Dream on!” declared hardline cleric Ahmad Khatami during a Friday sermon in Tehran, hinting at how he believes the regime ought to resolve the situation.

“The judiciary should deal with the rioters – who betrayed the nation and poured water into the enemy’s watermill – in such a way that others don’t again fancy to riot,” proclaimed the firebrand preacher.

Activist website 1500tasvir posted a video it said showed a demonstration in the central city of Isfahan and footage that purports to show protesters lighting fires on streets of the northwestern city of Mahabad late on Thursday. Videos of protests have been moreover delayed because of Internet restrictions imposed in Iran by authorities, activists say.

The theocratic regime ruling the Islamic Republic of Iran is blaming the violent unrest sweeping through the country on “thugs” who are linked to “foreign enemies”.

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