The grave of Mahsa Amini in her hometown of Saqqez, Iran. Photo obtained by Fox News Digital.

Iran protests against regime reach day 40 as protesters fired upon by security forces

Protests against the Iranian regime continue to punctuate forty days after the theocratic state’s notorious morality police allegedly murdered 22-year-old Mahsa Amini for failing to properly cover her hair with a hijab.

The end of the forty-day Iranian mourning period for the Iranian Kurd Amini on Wednesday coincided with massive protests in Amini’s hometown of Saqqez and at her grave at the Aichi cemetery.

Hengaw, a Norway-based human rights group that monitors the situation of Iranian Kurds, tweeted, “Security forces have shot tear gas and opened fire on people in Zindan Square, Saqqez city.”

The Iranian-American human rights activist and former head coach of Iran’s national Greco-Roman wrestling team, Sardar Pashaei, told Fox News Digital that he has received reports from his hometown Saqqez that Iranian regime security forces used live ammunition against protestors.

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The grave of Mahsa Amini in her hometown of Saqqez, Iran. Photo obtained by Fox News Digital.
(Fox News Digital)

The Islamic Republic-controlled news organization Iranian Students News Agency claimed that a “limited number of those present at Mahsa Amini’s memorial clashed with police forces on the outskirts of Saqqez and were dispersed.”

Ahead of the forty-day remembrance of Amini, the U.S. Special Envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, came under fire from Iranian activists for tweeting in favor of mainstreaming Iran’s “government” rather than pursuing democracy promotion in Iran. Since criticism of his tweet Malley told Iran International that it was “poorly worded,” saying, “It’s important to own up to one’s mistakes.”

The editor-in-chief of The Foreign Desk, Lisa Daftari, told Fox News Digital “The Iranian people are also sending a strong message to Washington to remove Iran envoy Robert Malley. The Iranian people are calling out the hypocrisy of the White House for condemning the crackdowns and offering support to the protestors on the one hand but pursuing a policy of normalizing relations with the regime on the other.” 

She added, “While the Biden administration has taken a break from the nuclear negotiations, Robert Malley came out early on in the protests to say the U.S. will not being supporting a policy of regime change.”

The Biden administration is working to secure a controversial atomic accord with the Islamic Republic of Iran. The formal name for the Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, has outraged some Iranian-Americans and politicians on Capitol Hill because it will, they argue, boost the finances of the regime.

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The 22-year-old Iranian woman Mahsa Amini who was reportedly murdered by Iran's morality police.

The 22-year-old Iranian woman Mahsa Amini who was reportedly murdered by Iran’s morality police.
(Obtained by Fox News)

Daftari said, “Despite the horrific crackdowns that have resulted in hundreds of violent and senseless deaths of mostly young Iranian students, the Iranian people are more fueled than ever before to make this movement the one that is successful in toppling the regime.”

The slogan, “women, life freedom,” which has emerged as the battle cry against the Islamic Republic of Iran since Amini’s death, was shouted by dozens of men and women at Aichi cemetery. The protestors also yelled “Death to the dictator,” a reference to Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, the totalitarian ruler of the clerical regime in Iran. 

Pashaei, who is Iranian-Kurdish, told Fox News Digital, “Since this morning, when I talk to the people from my city [Saqqez], they send me videos of tens of thousands of people on the streets to honor Zhina [Masha Amini]. It is unbelievable after 40 days of tear gas, batons and bullets, these brave people are still standing against the clerical government.”

Video footage online showed the demonstrators at Aichi cemetery in the Western province of Kurdistan. Some reports claimed there were up to 50,000 people in attendance. 

Amini was Iranian-Kurdish and Pashaei noted, “Kurds have a long history of fighting dictatorial oppressive regimes. When the Islamic Republic killed Zhina, the Kurds stood behind their daughter. They did not mourn and were not depressed, but they came to the streets in anger and turned her death into a rally cry for change. It was there that they sang for the first time the rally cry of ‘Woman, life, freedom.”’

He added, “For Kurds, this not just a slogan, but a philosophy of life. Kurdish women are the ones who understand the importance of democracy. It is women and young people who are on the front lines of fighting against the culture of misogyny and standing against totalitarian governments.”

Marjan Keypour Greenblatt, an Iranian-American who is the director of the Alliance for Rights of All Minorities, told Fox News Digital the “Iranian regime has put itself in a cycle of illegitimacy and incompetence. The government’s escalation of violence against the protestors hasn’t deterred the movement, it has enhanced it.”

She added, “People are continuing to participate in the various forms of demonstrations and they’re fighting for their lives. With each act of suppression, the Iranian regime is proving its illegitimacy and impotence.”

Comments from Iranian-Americans to Fox News Digital infuse the Persian saying, “Blood that is spilled unfairly will boil until the end of time” with contemporary meaning in view of the protests that have rocked the Islamic Republic since 2019.

The ongoing unrest is the first significant threat to the existence of the Islamic Republic since nation-wide protests in 2019 when Iranians filled the streets to protest against the economic and political corruption of regime.

According to a Reuters news agency investigation, the regime killed roughly 1,500 Iranians during the 2019 demonstrations.

The current protestors continue to defy the regime’s lethal violence, which has resulted in the deaths of 141 people as of Tuesday, according to the Norway-based Iran Human Rights organization. IHR said 29 children have been killed during the waves of unrest. 

Iran’s regime claims that Amini died in police custody due to a heart attack. Amini’s family and protestors say the clerical regime covered up the torture and murder of Amini.

The deputy commander of the U.S.-sanctioned terrorist entity Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Ali Fadavi, said in early October that the average age of those arrested is 15.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, center, reviews an honor guard during his official departure ceremony as he leaves Tehran's Mehrabad airport to New York to attend annual UN General Assembly meeting, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, center, reviews an honor guard during his official departure ceremony as he leaves Tehran’s Mehrabad airport to New York to attend annual UN General Assembly meeting, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

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Fadavi lashed out at the adolescents in the pro-Iran regime news outlet Barkhat News, declaring, “Neglecting the areas of education, knowledge, explanation, and propaganda caused these people to become fat morsels for the enemy on the altar of virtual and media space.”

Fadavi added, “In their confessions, some of these arrested teenagers and young people talk about common keywords, such as stimulating street riots with computer games, as well as addiction and strong dependence on virtual space.”

Saeed Ghasseminejad, an Iran expert for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Fox News Digital, “Washington’s response to the Iran Revolution has been a mixture of annoyance, confusion, and word salads of support and solidarity not backed by any meaningful action. The Biden administration is waiting for the protests to fade to go back to its policy of begging Khamenei to accept a one trillion dollars package in exchange for limited, temporary, and reversible nuclear concessions. It is a national security malpractice which throws away the opportunity to help Iranians to reclaim their country from an oppressive regime that has turned Iran into the headquarters of Islamist terrorism and a close ally of China and Russia.”

Iranians protest a 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini's death after she was detained by the morality police, in Tehran, Sept. 20, 2022, in this photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran.

Iranians protest a 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini’s death after she was detained by the morality police, in Tehran, Sept. 20, 2022, in this photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran.
(AP Photo/Middle East Images, File)

Pashaei urged the U.S. government to “strengthen their dialogue with the Iranian opposition, including in the U.S. and Western Europe and be vocally supportive.”

The Iranian-American Mariam Memarsadeghi, a fellow for the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, told Fox News Digital, “The wall of fear has fallen already and what we are able to now see is that Iranians from every walk of life–including the most devout and traditional — despise this regime and will not stop until it is removed from power. In Mahsa Amini Iranians see themselves: innocent and deserving of life and liberty.”

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When asked about the protests in Iran today, a U.S. State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital: “We are aware of reports of authorities firing on students in Tehran and elsewhere in the country as they protest peacefully. We condemn this ongoing violence by Iranian authorities. This cruel, violent suppression of peaceful protest shows that the Iranian government clearly fears its own people. Unfortunately, Iran has a long history of perpetrating violence against its own people to silence dissent. We continue to coordinate with a wide range of international partners to respond to Iranian authorities’ treatment of women and their ongoing, violent crackdown on peaceful protestors.”

Asked about Malley’s Tweet and calls for his resignation, the spokesperson referred Fox News Digital to a statement from Ned Price, the spokesman for the U.S. State Department, who said Malley “would never intend to speak for or on behalf of the people of Iran. It is up to the Iranian people to be clear about their aspirations, and we are hearing those aspirations every day. We want to continue, we will continue to do everything we can to see to it that their voices are heard both inside Iran and well beyond as well. After all, they are expressing and exercising rights that are as universal to them as they are to anyone else.”

Price said, “Malley is a tremendous public servant. He is someone who has led our approach to this set of challenges.”

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