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Iran’s supreme leader blames the United States and Israel for the Mahsa Amini protests.

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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, accused the United States and Israel on Monday of fomenting the wave of widespread unrest caused by outrage over the killing of Mahsa Amini.

The supreme leader stated, “These riots and insecurity were orchestrated by the United States and the occupying, fraudulent Zionist administration, as well as their paid operatives, with the assistance of some disloyal Iranians overseas.”

Amini, 22 years old, was pronounced dead on September 16, days after the infamous morality police arrested the Kurdish Iranian for allegedly violating norms requiring women to wear the headscarf and modest clothing.

Anger over Amini’s death has spurred the worst wave of protests in the Islamic republic in over three years, resulting in the nighttime arrest of hundreds of university students in Tehran.

In his first public remarks since Amini’s death, Khamenei, 83, emphasized that police must “stand up to criminals” and added that “whoever assaults the police renders the people defenseless against crooks, thugs, and thieves.”

Khamenei stated, “The loss of the young woman devastated our hearts.” “But what is not typical is that without evidence or investigation, certain individuals have made the streets unsafe, destroyed the [Holy] Quran, pulled hijabs from veiled women, and set mosques and cars on fire.”

Remarkable fortitude

Local media said that hundreds of students at Tehran’s prominent Sharif University of Technology were attacked with tear gas and paintball guns by riot police armed with steel pellet guns overnight.

The protesters chanted “Woman, life, liberty” and “students choose death to humiliation,” according to Mehr news agency.

According to the report, Iran’s minister of science, Mohammad Ali Zolfigol, addressed the students in an effort to diffuse the situation.

Iran Human Rights (IHR), a nonprofit based in Oslo, produced recordings purportedly showing police on motorbikes following students running through an underground parking garage and removing captives with their heads covered in black fabric bags.

A mob can be heard yelling “Don’t be terrified!” in a video that IHR claims was captured at a Tehran metro stop. Don’t be frightened! We are all united!

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock tweeted, “Hard to bear what’s happening at Sharif University in Iran.”

“The Iranians’ bravery is astounding. And the regime’s brutality is an expression of its irrational dread of the power of education and liberty.”

The New York-based Centre for Human Rights in Iran stated that it was “very worried by footage emerging today from Sharif University and Tehran depicting harsh repression of protesters and detainees being dragged away with their heads totally covered in fabric.”

Protests were also reported at other institutions, notably in the city of Isfahan in the country’s center, and according to unsubstantiated reports by a student group on Twitter, scores of people were arrested in the nation’s capital.

Due to recent events and the necessity to protect students, all classes at Sharif University of Technology will be held online beginning on Monday, according to Mehr news agency.

‘Please help me’

Iran has consistently accused external powers of inciting the protests and last week announced the arrest of nine foreign people, including citizens of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Poland.

The parents of 30-year-old Alessia Piperno, an Italian woman from Rome, lost communication with their daughter after chatting to her on her birthday, but received a phone call on Sunday informing them that she was in jail.

“I was arrested. I’m incarcerated in Tehran. She pleaded with them for assistance, as reported by Il Messaggero, Rome’s daily newspaper.

She said, “I’m alright, but there are people here who claim to have been detained for months without cause. I fear I will never be released again. Help me.” The Italian foreign ministry has not yet commented on the identify of the detained Italian.

IHR asserts that at least 92 protestors have been killed so far at Mahsa Amini protests, despite internet outages and restrictions on WhatsApp, Instagram, and other social media platforms.

Amnesty International said earlier that 53 killings had been confirmed, although Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported last week that “about 60” individuals had died.

The chief of riot police in Marivan, Kurdistan region, succumbed to his wounds on Sunday after being shot during “riots,” according to state television; he was the twelfth security force fatality reported since September 16.

IHR previously reported, citing local sources, that Friday violence in Iran’s southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan region claimed the lives of an additional 41 people.

Accusations that a police head in the district raped a teenage Sunni Baluch girl provoked these rallies, according to a rights group.