Iranian general admits at least 300 deaths in anti-regime protests


An Iranian general on Monday gave the first official statement in at least two months about deaths in protests sparked by the death of young Mahsa Amini two and a half months ago. The acts represent the biggest public challenge to the regime in years.

According to a website aligned with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the aerospace division of the paramilitary forces, admitted that more than 300 people died in the demonstrations – the text does not cite an exact number or the origin of the information.

According to the Associated Press agency, the military included in that account what he called martyrs, in a possible reference to security force agents killed in conflict with demonstrators. In fact, so far, the regime’s official version mentions only police and military deaths.

On Monday, according to Reuters, Ali Bagheri Kani, the country’s vice chancellor, spoke of about 50 police officers killed in the acts, in addition to hundreds of wounded. The balance also does not specify whether the number of victims includes representatives of paramilitary forces or the Revolutionary Guard, for example.

By counting the human rights entities that monitor the situation in Iran, however, the official numbers are understated. The NGO Human Rights in Iran estimates that 451 protesters and 60 agents have died since the beginning of the acts, days after Amini, 22, died in the custody of the moral police – she had been arrested on charges of not wearing the hijab correctly. obligatory Islamic for women in the country.

Also according to the AP, Hajizadeh would have said that many of the victims are ordinary Iranians, who were not involved in the protests. The general also reinforced the regime’s version that the acts are fomented by Tehran’s rivals, such as Saudi Arabia, the US and other Western countries, as a way to destabilize the country.

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