Influential Iranian politicians both inside and outside the country have raised their voices against violence by security forces to suppress protesters in Khuzestan, where after weeks of water shortages people began rallies July 15 to demand action by the government.
Iran’s former reformist president Mohammad Khatami has said on Monday that no political, security, military or law enforcement entity is allowed to confront protesters with guns and bullets on the pretext of stopping riots.
Khatami who has been criticized for maintaining silence or making vague statements during and after earlier protests, spoke out on Monday after three young men were killed in four days of demonstrations in Iran’s oil-rich province Khuzestan.
Members of the security forces:
I, too, once wore our country’s uniform to defend our nation from invaders. Now it is your time to defend our people. You have no right to shoot defenseless Iranians. Rather, it is your responsibility to defend our defenseless compatriots! https://t.co/mlkpsvR2vO
— Reza Pahlavi (@PahlaviReza) July 19, 2021
Exiled Prince Reza Pahlavi also tweeted addressing Iran’s armed forces and the police. “I, too, once wore our country’s uniform to defend our nation from invaders. Now it is your time to defend our people. You have no right to shoot defenseless Iranians. Rather, it is your responsibility to defend our defenseless compatriots!”
As a young man before the 1979 revolution, Reza Pahlavi was trained both in Iran and in the United Ststes as a fighter pilot and wore the uniform of the Iranian air force.
— Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) July 19, 2021
The exiled prince has raised his voice in defense of the people of Khuzestan and protesters in the past five days, blaming the Islamic Republic for turning a rich land into arid ground, with hundreds of thousands of unemployed youth.
Iran’s former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has also released a video blaming the intelligence services for violence against unarmed protesters. He said that every peaceful move, demand or protest by the people turns into violence by conspiracies of the security forces who manufacture incidents and then open fire at the people. He added that “the band of corrupt intelligence organs” tries to portray protests as conspiracies by foreign powers or “anti-revolutionary” groups. By these methods, they create an excuse to suppress the people and close all avenues to peaceful demands.
Since 2017 Ahmadinejad has turned into a critic of Islamic Republic structures, including implicitly directing criticism at Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. He boycotted the June 18 presidential elections when an election watchdog barred his candidacy.
They are fresh reports Monday night that people in one part of Khuzestan’s capital Ahvaz have continued the protests against water shortage for a fifth night and special police units, as well as Revolutionary Guards have been sent to the area to end the protest.
Source » iranintl