The White House says the US is seeing signs that Russia may be advising Iran on how to curb the protests



CNN

White House officials have said the United States is seeing signs that Russia may be advising Iran on how to crack down on public demonstrations, which have been 40 days since the death of Mahsa Amini, which has sparked clashes across Iran.

“We are concerned that Moscow is advising Tehran on best practices, drawing on Russia’s extensive experience in suppressing open demonstrations,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a press conference on Wednesday. “The evidence that Iran is helping Russia wage a war against Ukraine is clear and public. And Iran and Russia are getting closer and closer and more isolated. Our message to Iran is very, very clear: stop killing your own people and stop sending weapons to Russia to help kill Ukrainians “.

Jean-Pierre and John Kirby, the communications coordinator for the National Security Council, who later spoke at the conference, did not provide evidence of the allegation.

Protests have spread across the Islamic Republic over Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman who died on September 16 after allegedly being arrested by the country’s “morality police” and taken to a “re-education center”. Failure to comply with Iran’s conservative dress code. And nationwide protests marking 40 days since Amini’s death sparked clashes across Iran on Wednesday.

Kirby said he would not include the sources of information to back up Jean-Pierre’s assertion about Russian advice to Iran, but stressed that he was “stating a fact that we know they may be considering some kind of support for Iran’s capability.” to repress the demonstrators.”

“And unfortunately, Russia has experience doing that. So we’ll see. We’ll see where this goes. But this is just another example of Russia and Iran now working together to violate the civil human rights of Iranian people, but of course to further endanger the lives of Ukrainians,” he added.

Kirby initially said he was seeing signs that the US was “looking at an ability to help train forces in counter-protesters,” then clarified that the US was seeing signs that Moscow could be “advising” him.

The US announcement of Moscow’s possible involvement with Tehran comes on the same day that the US imposed a series of additional sanctions against Iranian officials involved in Iran’s crackdown on nationwide protests, including Treasury Department sanctions against the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. organization and the IRGC’s deputy commander for operations, as well as two officials from Sistan and Baluchistan province, which the department described as “the site of the worst violence in recent protests”.

The Biden administration’s punitive measures against Iran over its crackdown on protesters come at a time when the US and Europe are working to counter growing cooperation between Iran and Russia in the war in Ukraine. Russian forces have struck Ukrainian cities with Iranian drones in recent weeks. Vedant Patel, a senior deputy spokesman for the State Department, said last week that the “deterioration” of relations between Moscow and Tehran should be seen as a “deep threat.”

Patel said the United States “will continue to take practical and aggressive steps to toughen the sale of these weapons, including sanctions, including export control actions against any entity involved.”

“We have extensive tools in our arsenal to disrupt arms transfers to Iran, as well as to continue to hold Russia accountable for its actions in Ukraine,” Patel said at a department briefing last Tuesday.