Iran says it will sue the US for “direct involvement” in the protests




CNN

Iran said on Saturday it would take legal action against the US, accusing it of “direct involvement” in the protests sweeping the country.

Tehran also warned the UK and Saudi Arabia that it “will not ignore the judicial system of the Islamic Republic” for their role in hosting and protecting television channels such as BBC Persia and Iran International, and called on protesters to “destroy public and private”. properties”.

Anti-government protests have gripped Iran since the September 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was taken off the streets of Tehran by morality police and taken to a “re-education center” for lessons in modesty.

Strikes and protests have become commonplace in cities and towns across the country, with cries of “death to the dictator” – referring to Supreme Leader Jamenei – often ringing from rooftops at night in the capital.

US President Joe Biden has thrown his support behind the protesters, ordered costs against “perpetrators of violence against peaceful protesters” and said the US stands “right now with the brave women of Iran who are demonstrating for their basic rights”.

The US has also announced sanctions on Iran’s morality police for “abuse and violence against Iranian women and violations of the rights of peaceful Iranian protesters” and is working to make it easier for Iranians to access the Internet.

It is not the first time that Iran has accused the US of meddling in anti-government protests; made similar claims in 2018.

The state news agency IRNA reported on Saturday that the Department of Justice “has been instructed to file a case to investigate the damage caused by the direct involvement of the United States in the conflicts and the interference”. Kazem Gharibabadi, deputy head of Iran’s Judiciary and secretary of the country’s High Council for Human Rights, also reported on the claims against the BBC and Iran International.

The report did not clarify which court would hear the case.

Meanwhile, protests continue both in Iran and in solidarity movements around the world, with large demonstrations taking place in Berlin and Tokyo on Saturday.

Inside Iran, business owners and factory workers in the Kurdistan region went on strike and university students across the country joined the demonstrations.

Video shared with CNN by pro-reform activist IranWire shows Sanandaj, the capital of the Kurdish region, quiet at the start of the work week as shops remain closed.

The Norwegian Iranian rights group Hengaw said shopkeepers were also on strike in Bukan, Sanandaj and Marivan, although CNN could not independently verify those reports.

On Saturday, IranWire’s IranWire video of anti-regime protests showed crowds at Tehran’s Shahid Behasti University chanting “Freedom, freedom, death to the dictator, death to Khamenei.”

The workers of the Aidin Chocolate Factory in Tabriz have started a strike in solidarity with the national protests.  (IranWire)

Students at Tabriz University in East Azerbaijan province also took to the streets chanting in unison that regime change was on the horizon, according to IranWire, and at Yazd University in Yazd province, students sang the pre-revolutionary anthem of the century.

A witness told CNN that young girls from local schools who joined the protests calling for “freedom” and “death to the dictator” were rounded up by police moments later and put into black vans.

Outside Iran, video released by Radio Free Liberty showed protesters chanting “freedom” on a promenade in Sydney, Australia, on Saturday.

German state broadcaster RBB reported solidarity protests in Berlin with around 80,000 people.