Both the Spanish and German governments have summoned the Iranian ambassadors to their respective countries after Iran’s Foreign Minister claimed his country was “no place for coups and color revolutions”.
In an interview with NPR on Tuesday, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Western diplomats should know the ongoing protests would not “destabilize” Iran.
Demonstrations erupted spontaneously in at least 80 cities across Iran after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at the hands of the Tehran “morality patrol”.
Though protesters calling for an end to the Islamic Republic have come from all walks of life and bear a multitude of grievances against the regime, Amir-Abdollahian falsely suggested – as the state has done – that foreign countries had a hand in it.
"There is not a big deal going on in Iran," the Foreign Minister said, just as Iran headed into its 13th consecutive night of protests, with 3,000 jailed in Tehran and at least 76 people killed by security forces while Anonymous had hacked the parliament and Central Bank.
"There is not going to be regime change in Iran,” he went on. “Don't play to the emotions of the Iranian people. In Iran, we pay attention to the demands of the people. But we deal with those who want to riot and are influenced by foreign countries according to the law."
Protests have continued across Iran despite a lethal crackdown by security forces of the type seen in November 2019. The internet has been cut off in major cities and the judiciary has declared an illegal policy of “preventative detentions”.
Verified footage from inside Iran has shown officers directly firing live ammunition at crowds and beating unarmed civilians in the streets without provocation.
In a statement on Monday, the High Representative of the European Union said: “For the European Union and its member states, the widespread and disproportionate use of force against protesters is unjustifiable and unacceptable.
“We expect Iran to immediately stop the violent crackdown on protests and ensure internet access. Furthermore, we expect Iran to clarify the number of deaths and arrested, release all non-violent protestors and provide due process to all detainees.”
The United Nations’ human rights tsar has also warned that the Islamic Republic must “fully respect” people’s rights to freedom of opinion, expression, peaceful assembly and association.
“We are very concerned by the continued violent response by security forces to protests in Iran,” Ravina Shamdasani, the spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, told journalists in Geneva.
Shamdasani condemned the “unnecessary and disproportionate” use of firearms to suppress the protests, saying they should never be used simply to disperse an assembly.
The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, also said he has been following events in Iran closely, and echoed the call for security forces to stop using disproportionate force.
Guterres further demanded a prompt and “impartial” inquiry into the death of Mahsa Amini, something the Iranian government has so far failed to offer.