Iranian Official Says U.S. Is Using Hijab Protests To ‘Weaken’ Iran As Demonstrations Spread Globally
Iran has accused the U.S. of capitalizing on nationwide mass protests against Iran’s strict rules on women’s dress after the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody, saying the U.S. is attempting to “weaken” stability in Iran days after the Treasury Department announced sanctions on Iran’s “morality police.”
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani told an Iranian outlet that “Washington is always trying to weaken Iran’s stability and security,” according to a Reuters translation, adding on Instagram that the U.S. and other European countries are choosing to support “rioters” instead of the millions of Iranians who Kanaani says support the country’s system.
Kanaani’s comments come days after the U.S. announced sanctions on Iran’s morality police, which enforces the country’s strict dress code for women in public places.
The U.S. Treasury Department said it holds the morality police responsible for the death of Masha Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who died in morality police custody on September 16, and accused the force of using violence to suppress peaceful protests against Amini’s death and Iran’s dress code.
The protests, led largely by women, have been held in cities across Iran for more than a week, and have even spread to cities around the world in countries including the U.K., Turkey,Canada, France, Austria and Norway. The first protests in Iran began last Saturday, the day of Amini’s funeral, and are the biggest public demonstrations in Iran since 2019. Police said Amini, who was taken into custody for wearing a headscarf improperly, died after a three-day coma stemming from a heart attack. Amini’s family dispute the police account, saying the 22-year-old was healthy and have accused police of mistreatment, which authorities denied. Witnesses say police beat Amini immediately after her arrest. At least 41 people have died during the ensuing protests, according to state media, but some experts believe the toll is much higher.
Christiane Amanpour Says Iranian President Canceled Interview Because She Wouldn’t Wear A Headscarf Amid Deadly Hijab Protests (Forbes)
Iran Blocks Nearly All Internet Access As Anti-Government Protests Intensify (Forbes)
Anti-Hijab Protests Led By Women Spread Across Iran—Here’s What You Need To Know (Forbes)