As the uprising in Iran moves into its sixth month, thousands of citizens are at risk of violence and even death. Authorities are intensifying their crackdown with executions and more than 500 protesters have been killed, including 70 children and teenagers. The latest victims are 22-year-old Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Mohammad Hosseini who were recently executed by hanging. Two days later, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called for authorities to handle ongoing protests in “a stern and fair manner.” Khamenei also repeated his allegation that foreign powers are behind the unrest, without providing evidence to support the claim. At least four young men have been officially executed since the demonstrations began, following, rapid, closed-door trials. This has led to international criticism including a warning from Germany’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock. “Iranian oppression and terrorizing of the population will have consequences,” she said.
World leaders are also showing their support for Iranian citizens. “We salute the Iranian citizens fighting heroically for their freedom,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “They are sacrificing their lives for basic civil rights; they are exposing for the whole world the true and ugly face of the oppressive regime in Tehran, a regime that threatens its citizens, the countries of the region, and the entire world.” Iran’s crown prince, Reza Pahlavi, is also urging western countries to take a firmer stand. “Democratic countries should expel the regime’s ambassadors and recall their ambassadors. They should follow the parallel path of maximum pressure on the regime and maximum support for the Iranian people. The U.K., the United States, France, and Germany must officially stop trying to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA),” he said.
In the U.S., former State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus warns the situation could get worse, citing when the regime murdered thousands of opponents in the 1980s and buried them in mass graves. Ortagus is also urging countries to take actions such as recalling their ambassadors, ending negotiations on the Iran nuclear deal, resuming all U.N. sanctions, and banning Iranian officials from foreign travel. Meanwhile, the protests continue, with Iranians holding massive rallies worldwide in support of the ongoing uprising following the death of Mahsa Amini.
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