The commander of the Iranian army's ground forces has hinted that an ongoing wave of nationwide protests would be suppressed if Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei ordered a harsher clampdown.
Calling the protesters “flies,” Brigadier General Kiumars Heydari said on November 9: "Should he decide to deal with them, rioters will no longer have a place in the country."
"We will not let the holy blood of the martyrs be wasted and we will not let the enemy walk in the alleys and streets that are decorated with the names of the martyrs,” he said at a ceremony held for a member of the Basij paramilitary killed in the unrest.
Anti-government demonstrations erupted across Iran in September following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of Tehran’s morality police.
The largely peaceful protests -- the biggest challenge to Iran’s regime since the 2009 protest movement -- have been met by a heavy-handed crackdown in which security forces fired bullets, birdshot, and tear gas at protesters, killing more than 300 people. Several thousand people have also been arrested, with many detainees being subjected to torture. Dozens of security forces have also been killed in the unrest, according to state media.
Also on November 9, many shopkeepers went on strike in western Iran and across the eastern Sistan Baluchistan province to mark 40 days -- the official end of the mourning period -- since the "Bloody Friday" massacre in the city of Zahedan.
In a video shared by the 1500tasvir social media channel, activists are seen distributing fliers calling for protests in all cities across the country.
On September 30 in Zahedan, the capital of Sistan and Baluchistan province, security forces killed 92 people, including 12 children, according to IranWire sources. Four security forces were also killed that day.