IRAN (Conspiracy Talk News) – Nine people died in Iran during the night in clashes between protesters and security forces, Islamic Republic state television reported on Tuesday. Some of them tried to attack a police station to steal weapons.
The protests, the most massive in Iran since the disputed presidential election of 2009, marked its sixth day of riots throughout the country and claimed the lives of at least 20 people. In his first statements since the beginning of the crisis, the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, accused on Tuesday the “enemies of Iran” of meddling in the affairs of the country.
The demonstrations began last Thursday in Mashhad because of the weakness of the Iranian economy and the increase in the price of food, and have spread to several cities, where some attendees chanted slogans against the president and Khamenei.
Hundreds of people have been arrested and a prominent judge warned on Tuesday that some may face death penalty for their actions.
Six activists were killed during an attack on a police station in the town of Qahdarijan, the state television said, explaining that the clashes were provoked by protesters who tried to steal weapons from the building.
In addition, an 11-year-old boy and a 20-year-old man lost their lives in Khomeinishahr, while a member of the Revolutionary Guard was killed in Najafabad, the network added. According to the local media, all of them had hunting rifles, a very common weapon in the Iranian countryside.
These localities are in the province of Isfahan, in the center of Iran and about 350 kilometers (215 miles) south of the capital, Tehran.
It was not immediately clear if the member of the Revolutionary Guard was the same victim reported late on Monday by Mehr news agency. According to that information, an assailant armed with a hunting rifle killed a policeman and wounded three others in Najafabad. Monday’s first victim among the Iranian security forces.
The president, Hasan Ruhani, acknowledged the public unrest over the shaken economy of the Islamic Republic, although he and others warned that the government will not last in repressing those who consider break the law. So far, none of the demonstrations received prior authorisation from the Ministry of the Interior, which makes them illegal in the eyes of Iranian justice.
In comments posted on his official website, Khamenei seemed to blame foreign nations for, at least, exacerbating the riots.
“In the incidents of recent days, Iran’s enemies used various means including money, weapons, politics and intelligence apparatuses to create problems in the Islamic system,” he said.
Khamenei added that he will offer more details in the coming days.
In Tehran alone, authorities detained 450 protesters in the past three days, the semi-official news agency ILNA said on Tuesday.
Security forces arrested 200 protesters on Saturday, 150 on Sunday and another 100 on Monday, ILNA said, citing Ali Asghar Nasserbakht, deputy governor of security in Tehran.
The authorities have not revealed the number of detainees across the country just yet.
The head of the Tehran Revolutionary Court also warned on Tuesday that the detainees could face death penalty charges when they are tried.
“Obviously one of the charges may be ‘moharebeh,'” or wage a war against God, Mousa Ghazanfarabadi said in remarks published by the semi-official news agency Tasnim. This charge carries a death penalty in the Islamic Republic.
Ghazanfarabadi also said that some of the dissenters will be tried soon for acting against national security and damaging public property.