IranWire has obtained notes from a recent meeting of members of a conservative political party at which attendees called for further suppression of protesters.
Two members of the Jebhe-Paydari (Stability Front) party highlighted the prominent role of Hamed Esmaeilion in calling for rallies outside Iran, saying he should be "silenced".
Esmaeilion is the spokesperson of the Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims, an activism group, which represents families of those Iranians killed when the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps shot down Ukrainian Airlines Flight PS752 on January 8, 2020.
Mahmoud Nabavian, Nasrullah Pazhmanfar, Meysham Nili, Ali Khezrian and Vahid Yaminpour were present at this meeting, IranWire's source said.
Nabavian, vice-chairman of a commission on Article 90 of Iran’s constitution, in the Iranian parliament, spoke during the meeting about a plan to suppress celebrities. He referred to Esmaeilion and claimed that he is affiliated with the People’s Mujahideen, which is based in Albania, and should have been "silenced" before the global rallies were staged.
Nabavian added that Esmaeilion's actions abroad are important because he acts "in a completely planned and calculated manner and has become the second engine of internal protests."
"We are not just sitting and watching Esmaeilion, we have both domestic and external facilities to deal with him," another person, whose identity is not known, said during the meeting.
It is not clear what the meeting intended by discussing “silencing" Esmaeilion.
"Massoud and Maryam Rajavi [leaders of the Mujahideen] are back with the faces of Esmaeilion and Nazanin Boniadi and they are repeating the same violent pattern of the 1980s," Vice President Vahid Yaminpour has also recently said about Esmaeilion role in the protests. Nazanin Boniadi is a prominent Iranian-British actress who has been vocal in highlighting human rights abuses during the recent protests.
Mahmoud Nabavian also said that the government of President Ebrahim Raisi is trying to remove political figures close to Jebhe-Paydari.
"A specific agenda must be defined and all friends and people close to Jebhe-Paydari [officially, in the media and online] will do their best with every tool they have to calm the country's situation and end the unrest," Nabavian said about the ongoing protests.
The meeting came amid a fierce crackdown by government forces on nationwide unrest that erupted after the September 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, while in the custody of morality police. She had been arrested for allegedly wearing her hijab improperly.
At least 378 people, including 47 children and 27 women, have been killed by security forces, according to one human rights group. Thousands of people have been incarcerated without charge. Five have so far been sentenced to death.
The protest movement, which is calling for more freedoms and women's rights, poses one of the biggest challenges to Iran’s clerical regime since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.