Iran accuses West of helping protesters make weapons

AFP , Friday 11 Nov 2022

Iran's top diplomat has accused Western countries of promoting violence in the Islamic republic by helping protesters to make weapons and Molotov cocktails.

Iran protests
File Photo: Iranian protesters burn police motorbikes during a demonstration in Tehran on September 25, 2022. AFP


Street violence has flared across Iran since the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini on September 16, after her arrest for allegedly flouting the country's hijab dress code for women.

Dozens of people, mainly demonstrators but also security personnel, have been killed during the demonstrations, which the authorities have dubbed "riots", and hundreds more have been arrested.

In a phone call late Thursday with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian accused Western governments of "promoting violence and teaching (protesters) to make weapons and Molotov cocktails via social networks and the media".

These actions led to the "killing of police officers, and insecurity in Iran, and they even prepared the ground for the terrorist activities of the Islamic State" group, he said, quoted on his ministry's website.

At least 13 people were killed on October 26 at a Shia shrine in the southern city of Shiraz, in an attack claimed by the jihadist group.

Amir-Abdollahian also criticised Western countries that have been pressing for a special session of the UN Human Rights Council to be held on Iran's response to the Amini protests.

Such a session should instead be held for "governments that propagate violence and terror, not for (Iran), which is the true defender of human rights and has exercised serious restraint regarding the recent riots", he said.

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