“This is a year of bloodshed,” protesters in Tehran chanted, as military forces swept through the city’s streets. Iran is entering its second week of mass civil unrest following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
Amini disappeared in police custody earlier this month accused of violating a “morality” law. Three days later, he died. The Iranian government said it had ordered an investigation into the case. Support from around the world is pouring in following Amini’s death amid renewed calls against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Protests around the world are taking place as the UN General Assembly is also being held in New York. There, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi denounced Western sanctions as a weapon of mass destruction for the Iranian people and showed his willingness to return to the negotiating table to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
On ABC’s “This Week” television program, Republican US Senator John Barrasso said the deal would be a mistake.
“Iran is a state that sponsors acts of terrorism. They kept saying, ‘Death to America.’ We can’t let them have nuclear weapons. I’ve always felt this administration was too eager to reach a nuclear deal – or any deal – with Iran. I don’t think we need to reach any agreement with that country. This administration wants to send tens of billions of dollars to Iran for a deal that I think is a bad deal for America,” he said.
While demonstrators clashed with police and burned their headscarves in public in a major form of resistance in Iran, the Biden government pledged its commitment to negotiating the nuclear deal and gave its support for rallies that promote women’s rights.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on ABC’s “This Week” program Sunday.
“They are [unjuk rasa-unjuk rasa itu] reflects the deeply ingrained and widespread belief among the Iranian population, Iranian citizens, Iranian women, that they are entitled to their dignity and rights. And the United States stands very clearly and decisively, openly, from the UN courtroom, when you hear President Biden speak on behalf of the universal human rights of all Iranian citizens and women,” Sullivan said.
Iran is at the bottom of global rankings on women’s rights. According to the 2020 World Economic Forum report, only the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Pakistan, Iraq and Yemen ranked worse. Women caught in public without wearing a headscarf could face up to years in prison.
During the current wave of mass unrest, dozens of protesters have been killed. [rd/jm]