Protests across Iran continue to intensify as a large portion of the population across social lines continues to call for government reforms, with Iranian authorities reportedly responding with a stronger and more violent response towards demonstrators.

The protests, which began due to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, have sustained itself over the week, and in fact have spread beyond the capital city of Tehran and into other parts of Iranian society, including the Kurds and the Baloch people, with women primarily leading the charge for change and reforms, according to CNN.

Many videos show women taking off their headscarves in protests of repressive policies against them, while others show schoolgirls giving the middle finger to a picture of then-Ayatollah Khomeini and now-Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the two Supreme Leaders that have reigned in the country, The Guardian reported.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi even received an unwelcoming reception at Alzahra University in Tehran as female students chanted phrases like “Raisi get lost,” “Mullahs get lost,” and “We don’t want a corrupt guest,” as he toured the campus, prompting him to dismiss the protesters as “rioters,” Business World reported.

“They imagine they can achieve their evil goals in universities,” Raisi said on television after the fact. “Unbeknownst to them, our students and professors are alert and will not allow the enemy to realize their evil goals.”

The government has continued to deny the need for reforms in the country, with Ayatollah Khamenei branding the protesters as “rioters” and baselessly claiming that they are controlled by the United States and Israel.

A leaked document claimed that Iranian police and the armed forces of all the provinces have been given a directive to “mercilessly confront” the protesters in order to subdue the protests. Iran’s state media has claimed that 40 people have been killed since the protests began, while human rights group Amnesty International noted that at least 52 have been killed, with thousands more imprisoned.

Despite the danger, many of the protesters are not backing down, and many have vowed to protest for as long as it takes for reforms in the country to be attained.

“If the dust settles and we stop protesting, they are going to kill even more of us. They are going to detain even more people and they are going to turn us to North Korea,” a protester said. “This is not the end. I promise you that.”

Iranian Protests Representational Image
As protests in Iran, primarily led by young women, continue to intensify, the Iranian government has refused to cede ground towards talks of potential reforms in its systems. This is a representational image. Neil Webb/Unsplash.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.