Niece of Iran’s supreme leader declares support for anti-regime protests

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Farideh Moradkhani, a niece of Iran’s supreme leader and an outspoken critic of the Islamic Republic, has declared her support for the ongoing anti-regime protests in the country and called on the international community to support Iranian protesters.

Moradkhani, whose mother Badri Khamenei is the sister of Iran’s current top leader Ali Khamenei, described the Islamic Republic as a “murderous and child-killing regime.”

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Moradkhani, who was arrested last week, was speaking in a video circulating on social media on Saturday. She had recorded the video a day prior to her arrest, according to Radio Farda.

“The time has come for all the freedom-loving countries to recall all their representatives from Iran as a symbolic gesture, and expel the representatives and affiliates of this brutal regime from their countries, and in this way express solidarity with the freedom-loving people of Iran,” said Moradkhani.

She criticised the United Nations, asking: “What else has the United Nations done in the face of this clear and obvious oppression that is perpetrated on brave Iranians, except for a few expressions of regret and short and ineffective statements?”

Moradkhani said Iranians do not want foreign intervention and are capable of overthrowing the regime without help from outside. What they want, she said, is for foreign governments to stop helping the regime survive.

“Free and brave Iranians will overthrow this oppressive regime; What is needed is for [outsiders] to not support the regime,” she said.

Moradkhani’s brother said on Twitter last week that authorities had arrested his sister on Wednesday.

Moradkhani has been critical of the regime in the past and was arrested on two other separate occasions – earlier this year and in 2018.

Protests have swept across Iran since September 16 when 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini died three days after collapsing in police custody. She had been detained by Tehran’s morality police for allegedly not complying with the regime’s strict hijab rules.

Demonstrators have been calling for regime change in the protests which have become one of the boldest challenges to the regime since its establishment in 1979.

At least 416 people, including 51 children and 27 women, have been killed by security forces in the protests, according to the Oslo-based rights group Iran Human Rights (IHR).

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