International reactions to the Iranians’ national uprising following the murder of Mahsa Amini by the government are growing. In recent days, the United Nations, journalists and experts have made statements about the need to clarify the motive for Mehsa Amini’s murder, and have called on the Islamic Republic not to repress demonstrations and to stop the killing of protesters in the streets of the country. In America, the Ershad Patrol and seven members linked to the murder of Mehsa Amini were placed on the list of persons under sanctions.
On 23 September, the Swedish Chargé d’Affaires at the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was summoned after the attack on the Iranian Embassy in Stockholm on 22 September. A similar attack was reported at the Iranian embassy in Brussels.
Raisi returned at 6pm on 23 September to Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport. The President, who had travelled to New York to attend the 77th General Assembly of the United Nations, after delivering a speech in front of the Assembly and holding some other side programmes, was welcomed by the first deputy and the deputy for international communications of the official The Supreme Leader arrived in Tehran.
In a meeting with Iranians living in the United States, Ebrahim Raisi said that defending people’s rights is part of the essence of the Islamic Republic, and in response to the national uprising against the Islamic Republic, he said: ‘There are protests all over the world, but no one cares about them’. He added that no Iranians are forbidden to enter the country.
For the first time in a long time in Iran, the protests are not only national but have become internationally participatory and once again the social media, from the US, have taken the lion’s share. And now TV and newspapers all over the world are talking about it, and even if the internet is blocked by the authorities, videos are still being filmed that will sooner or later end up on the net in some way.
The religious authorities have repeatedly gone on TV asking for a dialogue with young people. Even if there are policemen in the square to act against the demonstrators, and some demonstrators have died, because the violence is undeniable and the clash is real. These squares are reminiscent of other squares: those of Iraq in 2019 and the response was: many deaths among the youth and no results or improvements for Iraqi democracy, which since October is still waiting for a government to be formed despite the lessons attended by no more than 33 % of those eligible.
In Iraq, the protests were piloted by the omnipresent Moqtada al Sadr and the occasion to inflame the squares was the arrest of young protesters. Starting on 1 October, Tharir Square became the site of the struggle against abuses of power. In just two days and in Baghdad alone, 107 civilians were killed and 2,458 injured. And despite this, no one raised their shields as is happening against Iran, and although it was mentioned, calls were made for the then Prime Minister Mustafa al Kazemi to investigate the events. Those dead are still waiting for justice.
Iran is going down the same road, with a new protagonist, who is more appealing in the West: women, those who no longer want to wear the veil. In Iran, we still remember, if we want to dwell on women, there are esteemed professionals, human rights lawyers, locked up in jails that nobody talks about, but the fight against the veil has become absolutely necessary.
What is most striking is not the young people who took to the streets claiming sacred rights, and demanding justice for a young woman unjustly killed, but the support and the demand to overthrow a government that until last month, no one liked but everyone kept silent.
What is more, this comes at a particular time: when Iran has chosen to support Russia and Armenia without ifs and buts.
Also taking the field for the young Iranians were sportsmen, showmen and Iranians living outside Iran who had been waiting for the right opportunity to call for Iranian renewal for a long time.
Ahmadreza Abedzadeh, the former goalkeeper of the Iranian national team, posted a story on Instagram and wrote: ‘Put the gun down’ and in another story she wrote: ‘Those who raise their hands against people are indifferent and dishonourable’.
Samane Qadrkhan, journalist said: people protesting can use other methods besides the Internet to convey messages and appeals. Yazdan Shohdai of the Transition Management Council: The Iranian people’s revolution will become global because women will be at the heart of it.
Mary Lawler, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders: ‘Today we are witnessing the disruption of the Internet in the country, which is part of the effort to silence the voices of human rights defenders and their solidarity in conveying the voice of the ongoing protests in Iran.
In Uruguay, only Uruguayan spectators can enter the NV Arena to watch their country’s national team play against Iran. Iranian spectators cannot enter the stadium by decision of the host country and in response to the violent political situation in Iran.
Also in Italy, there was a rally of students living in Italy in front of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic in Rome in support of the national protests in Iran
Habibullah Shabani, Khamenei’s representative in Hamadan, said, referring to the national uprising against the Islamic Republic: “The people present at the protests are under the age of 18”. He added: ‘We ask education to identify them, talk to each of these people and politely answer their questions’.
Shabnam Azar, Iran International, says the demonstrations are continuing nationwide despite the Internet shutdown.