Protests in Iran raged on the streets Wednesday night with demonstrators remembering a bloody crackdown in the country’s southeast, even as the nation’s top officials renewed threats against local dissent and the broader world.
The protests in Iran, sparked by the September 16 death of a 22-year-old woman after her detention by the country’s morality police, have grown into one of the largest sustained challenges to the nation’s theocracy since the chaotic months after the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
At least 328 people have been killed and 14,825 others arrested in the unrest, according to Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRIA), a group that’s been monitoring the protests over their 54 days.
Iran’s government for weeks has remained silent on casualty figures, while state media claims security forces have killed no one.
Videos distributed by HRIA, a human-rights collective active inside Iran, showed demonstrations and clashes with security forces in various cities across the country, and now-familiar sights of women removing their mandatory headscarves and shouting “freedom” and other slogans.
In the Kurdish-majority northwest, a public funeral for a local man shot last month in the city of Mahabad turned into a mass rally.
It wasn’t immediately clear if there were injuries or arrests in this round of protests, though Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency acknowledged the demonstrations near Isfahan.
They commemorated the September 30 crackdown in Zahedan, a city in Iran’s restive Sistan and Baluchestan province, in which activists say security forces killed nearly 100 people in the deadliest violence to strike amid the demonstrations.
Meanwhile, Iranian officials have kept up their threats against the demonstrators and the wider world.
In an interview with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s personal website, Iranian Intelligence Minister Esmail Khatib renewed threats against Saudi Arabia, a nation along with Britain, Israel and the US that officials have blamed for fomenting unrest that appears focused on local grievances.