Breaking News, Will the Iranian protests affect the prospects of the nuclear deal?
More than 30 people were killed during protests in Iran, Al-Arabiya reported, citing local human rights activists. The reason for the clashes was the death of a young girl who was detained for allegedly wearing a hijab improperly. Iranian authorities say she collapsed from a heart attack. Her family says she had no symptoms and that her death was the result of a beating. The topic of protests was raised at the UN General Assembly. And it is possible that this will affect the prospects of the nuclear deal with Iran.
At first, Iranian women demonstratively took off their scarves and cut their hair in public. Now the movement has escalated into mass protests where police stations and cars are set on fire, the CBC reports. According to human rights activists, security forces are using lethal weapons, but authorities deny these reports. "The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps calls for the prosecution of those who support the demonstrations and spread rumors. Iranian intelligence states that participation in the rallies is illegal - any protester can be prosecuted.
Throughout the week, the media reported on Internet problems in Iran. According to Voice of America, whose Russian office the Justice Ministry considers a foreign agent, the country has blocked popular social networks and messengers. Among them WhatsApp, which for the first time commented on the restriction of access, although blocking has happened before. The company said it would do everything possible to keep the services running.
President Ebrahim Raisi said on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly that the death of Mahsa Amini must be investigated, The Guardian notes. According to the Iranian leader, he immediately contacted the family of the deceased girl. However, he said the security forces were following instructions. It is now up to the courts to sort out the case, Raisi concluded.
He also accused the Western world of a policy of double standards and recalled cases of police violence, such as those in the United States and Britain. "Have all these deaths been investigated?" asked Raisi. Finally, he said a peaceful protest is fine, but one must distinguish between protesters and vandals.
The U.S. has called the events in Iran a serious violation of human rights, according to Al Jazeera. The administration of Joe Biden imposed sanctions on the Vice Police, which is blamed for the death of a girl. In addition, seven leaders of the Iranian security services, who, according to U.S. authorities, "often use violence against peaceful protesters," were also subject to restrictions. All of them ended up on the blocking lists.
In the context of the protests, the U.S. president spoke of the nuclear deal with Iran, which Donald Trump terminated four years ago. Since then, Biden has tried to negotiate a new document that involves lifting sanctions in exchange for not expanding the nuclear program. But numerous rounds of talks have stalled. Although the U.S. leader stressed that he was still willing to discuss a deal.