Iran protests

Iran reformists seek referendum to end ‘crisis’ over protests

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Iranian reformists on Wednesday issued a call for a referendum to end the “crisis” sparked by more than seven weeks of protests that flared over Mahsa Amini's death in custody.

The Islamic republic has been rocked street violence since the death of Amini, after her arrest by the morality police for allegedly breaking the nation's strict dress code for women based on sharia law.


“The Iranian Reform Front demands immediate, courageous and innovative changes” in order to open “effective dialogue on a national scale”, the bloc said in a statement posted online.

Founded in March 2021 by officials close to former president Mohammad Khatami, the Reform Front is made up of parties from the country's reformist camp.

“This first action is even possible by relying on... the current constitution and by implementing it in full, including... Article 59 on the organisation of a referendum,” the statement said.

The Iranian constitution provides for the organisation of a “referendum and direct reference to the votes of the people” on important political, economic, social and cultural issues.

“Practical decisions by the country's leaders in this area can effectively stem the crisis and open horizons for disappointed, dissatisfied and angry citizens,” the alliance added.

Dozens of people, mainly protesters but also members of the security forces, have been killed since the start of the protests.

Thousands more have been arrested during the demonstrations, generally referred to as “riots” by the authorities.

More than 2,000 people have been charged, half of them in Tehran alone, since the start of the protests, according to the judiciary.

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