Title: Iranian President Defends Response to Protests, Accuses Foreign Powers of Instigation
Guam News Factor – Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi recently sat down for an interview with NBC News, defending his government’s handling of the mass protests that erupted in Iran nearly a year ago. Raisi claimed that the unrest was incited by foreign powers, particularly the United States and European countries, while stressing that Iranian security forces had responded to protesters in a “peaceful” manner.
During the interview, Raisi emphasized the government’s commitment to listening to genuine protesters, but made it clear that attempts to destabilize the country would not be tolerated. He warned that those who sought to sow instability in Iran would face a “big cost” for their actions.
The protests initially began following the tragic death of Mahsa Amini in police custody, sparking widespread public outrage. Amini’s death served as a catalyst for a wave of protests across the nation, challenging the authority of the theocratic regime and targeting symbols of the Islamic Republic.
However, the protests eventually dwindled after a forceful crackdown by security forces, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of individuals and the arrest of tens of thousands. Human rights organizations have claimed that over 500 people lost their lives during the protests, with thousands more being detained.
Raisi countered these allegations, asserting that Iranian security forces treated demonstrators peacefully and differentiated between genuine protesters and those inciting violence. He denied claims of restricted internet access, blocked social media apps, and arrests of journalists, asserting that freedom of speech still prevailed in Iran.
Accusing the United States and European countries of exploiting Amini’s death to undermine Iran’s government on the pretext of human rights, Raisi dismissed her tragic demise as a mere “incident.” He maintained that his government had quickly and thoroughly investigated the case.
Raisi also took aim at France, criticizing the recent ban in state-funded schools on full-length robes worn by Muslim women. He accused the US and the West of “politicizing the issue” and confidently asserted that their attempts to do so would continue to be defeated.
Despite the protests, Raisi claimed that the majority of Iranian women still adhered to the Islamic dress code, showcasing the prevailing influence of religious customs in the country.
As tensions persist, Raisi’s interview sheds light on the Iranian government’s perspective on the protests and its response to domestic and international criticisms. The president’s statements serve as a reminder of the complex dynamics at play within Iranian society and its interactions with the global community.