LGBTQ+ International: Rainbow flag on Putin Peak, relief from Lula – and the other news of the week

Lawmaker Ahmad Alirezabeigi told the ISNA local news agency on October 31 that the “mismanagement” of the police was costing the country “very dear”.

Certain Iranian websites were later taken down his words, suggesting they contradicted the official line, which is barely noticeable anyway. Aside from the usual denunciations of protesters as paid agitators and warnings of foreign interference, the state has failed to explain why so many Iranians are demanding the end of the clerical regime.

Blame game and conspiracies

Alirezabeigi sought to blame the police for all of this. In Sistan-Balochistan province, east of Tehran, police fired tear gas and gunfire at protesters. At least one 12-year-old boy was shot dead. Their conduct, Alirezabeigi said, “created mistrust”, while the “lack of proper structure and management in the police” was noticeable.

The police did not remain silent in the meantime.

He added, “we have received complaints over the past month” about police damaging private property. Before him, a member of the Assembly of Clerics, the body overseeing Iran’s supreme leader, Abulhasan Mahdavidescribed the behavior of the police towards the demonstrators as “wrong”.

Meanwhile, police have not been silent, filing complaints against four lawmakers for commenting on their handling of the protests. Regarding reports of officers damaging property, the Tehran Police Department issued a statement accusing “opportunists” in riot police uniforms of engaging in vandalism to discredit the force.

The head of the Armed Forces Judiciary also claimed, strangely, that footage of police smashing people’s motorbikes was wrong. The elements shown, he said, were brandishing the wrong batons and a “white stripe on their cap”, which is not on the uniform of police or riot police. If so, shouldn’t the police or parliament investigate who might have sent provocative in the streets duly dressed as policemen?

An Iranian woman removes her headscarf and clashes with police during a protest for Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic’s ‘morality police’, in Tehran.

Salampix/Abaca/ZUMA

Moderation or repression?

Meanwhile, on October 31, the Canadian government unveiled a fourth round of sanctions against four Iranian officials and two agencies, including the national police and Tehran’s police chief, Hussein Rahimi.

The whole society seems to be in turmoil in Iran after seven weeks of unrest. With police personnel pushed to their limits, the streets have become dangerous in the hands of the regime, agents or clerics. Cases of people identified as officials or supporters of the regime were beaten in quiet streets or in the dark.

Expect more contention.

A member of the Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee, Mehdi Baqeri, recently said the police were short on manpower and “expertise”, but vowed “we will not back down on the hijab“, or women in Islamic dress were forced to wear in public for 40 years. Those in charge thus persist in limiting the agitation to a question of the headscarf or the limits of private life, and refuse to imagine anything worse.

Given this vast chasm between state and public perceptions and the regime’s ongoing crimes – including the murder of minors – expect more divisiveness among officials over the protests.

Some politicians will boast of moderation and flexibility, while others have already called for hardest answer. Neither strategy is likely to save the Islamic Republic, given the changing mood of the nation, but a harsh response will mean dismal. additions to his litany of crimes over the past 40 years.

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Carol N. Valencia