Young women across Iran demonstrate against the government for a fifth week, chanting “Guns, Tanks, and Mullahs must go”

Young Women Across Iran Demonstrate Against The Government For A Fifth Week, Chanting “Guns, Tanks, And Mullahs Must Go”
đź“· Many of the protests sparked by Mahsa Amini's death have seen women wave their headscarves in the air. (Image: BBC/Getty Images)

Young women across Iran have been at the forefront of the country’s largest wave of street protests in years. “Guns, tanks, fireworks; the mullahs must go,” Iranian women chanted in a video widely shared online at a gathering at Tehran’s Shariati Technical and Vocational College.

Several videos show hundreds of jeering and whistling protesters hurling projectiles at security forces near a landmark roundabout in Hamedan, west of Tehran. Despite what online monitor NetBlocks described as a “major disruption to internet traffic,” protesters were seen pouring into the streets of Ardabil, in videos shared on Twitter.

Shopkeepers went on strike in Mahsa Amini’s hometown of Saqez in Kurdistan province and Mahabad in West Azerbaijan, according to reports. They were responding to an appeal for a large turnout for Saturday protests with the catchphrase “The beginning of the end!”

“We need to be in the squares because the best VPN these days is the street,” activists declared, referring to virtual private networks, which are used to circumvent internet restrictions.

According to the Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights, at least 108 people were killed in the Amini protests, and at least 93 more were killed in separate clashes in Zahedan, the capital of the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan.

The unrest has persisted despite what Amnesty International has described as a “unrelenting brutal crackdown,” including a “all-out attack on child protesters” that has resulted in the deaths of at least 23 minors.

The crackdown has prompted international condemnation and sanctions against Iran from the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States.

Iran’s supreme leader has accused Iran’s adversaries, including the United States and Israel, of inciting the “riots.”

Great moment in history

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has urged the European Union to take a “realistic approach” in dealing with the Amini protests, as the EU prepares to impose new sanctions on the Islamic republic.

“Who would believe that the death of a single girl is so important to Westerners?” he said in a statement released on Friday.

“If it is so, what did they do regarding the hundreds of thousands of martyrs and deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Lebanon?” he added.

This week, EU countries agreed to impose new sanctions, which are expected to be approved at the bloc’s foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Monday.

In response to the protests, the security forces of the clerical state have launched a campaign of mass arrests of artists, dissidents, journalists, and athletes.

Iranian filmmaker Mani Haghighi claimed that he was denied entry to the London Film Festival because of his support for the protests.

According to the British Film Institute, Haghighi was scheduled to attend the festival for his latest film “Subtraction,” but Iranian authorities “confiscated his passport.”

“I cannot put into words the joy and the honour of being able to witness first-hand this great moment in history,” said Haghighi.

“So if this is a punishment for what I’ve done, then by all means, bring it on.”

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