Iran marks 1979 US Embassy takeover amid nationwide protests

Dubai: Iran on Friday marked the 1979 takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran as its theocracy faces nationwide protests after the death of a 22-year-old woman earlier arrested by the country’s morality police.
Iranian state-run television aired live feeds of various commemorations around the country, with some in Tehran waving placards of the triangle-shaped Iranian drones Russia now uses to strike targets in its war on Ukraine.
But while crowds in Tehran looked large with chador-wearing women waving the Islamic Republic’s flag, other commemorations in the country appeared smaller, with only a few dozen people taking part.
Iran’s hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi, speaking to people gathered in front of the former US Embassy, criticised those protesting the theocracy.
“Anyone taking the smallest step in the direction of breaching security and riots, must know that they are stepping in the direction of enemies of the Islamic Revolution,” he said. Americans think they can execute the plan they carried out in some countries like Syria and Libya here. What a false dream!
Those at the commemoration also waved effigies of French President Emmanuel Macron and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Signs and chants from the crowd called out: Death to America! Death to Israel!
The demonstrations that have convulsed Iran for seven weeks after the death of Mahsa Amini mark one of the biggest challenges to the country’s clerical rulers since they seized power in the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
At least 300 protesters have been killed and 14,000 arrested since the unrest began, according to a Human Rights Activists in Iran, a group that’s been monitoring the crackdown on demonstrators.
Iran’s government has not offered an overall death toll, with one state newspaper even making the counterfactual claim that no one had been killed by security forces over the 49 days of protests.
Later on Friday, protests began in Iran’s southeastern Sistan and Baluchestan province, which has seen weeks of unrest. Online videos purported to show people marching in the streets and some throwing stones, with the crackle of gunfire in the background and clouds of tear gas rising.
Some protesters appeared bloodied, while activists said some had been killed. No casualty figures were immediately known.
A Shiite cleric reportedly was shot dead on Thursday in Sistan and Baluchestan, a long restive province that’s predominantly Sunni.
Hard-liners within Iran long have bussed government workers and others into such November 4 demonstrations, which have a carnival-like feel for the students and others taking part on Taleqani Street in downtown Tehran.
This year, however, it remained clear Iran’s theocracy hopes to energize its hard-line base. Some signs read We Are Obedient To The Leader, referring to 83-year-old Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say over all matters of state in the country.



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