Rioters exploited young woman’s death to wreak havoc: Iran interior minister
Iran’s Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi says the riots have nothing to do with the recent death of a young Iranian woman, stating that issue is being exploited by rabble-rousers to instigate chaos and wreak havoc across the country.
Vahidi made the remark in a program broadcast on the national television, following days of unrest that initially broke out in Tehran and then spread across the country after the death of Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian woman who lost her life days after she was taken into a police station in the capital Tehran.
The 22-year-old woman from Kurdistan died in hospital despite intensive medical care and resuscitation efforts.
Despite Iranian officials’ clarification on circumstances surrounding Amini’s death, violent street protests have erupted and led to attacks on security officers and acts of vandalism against public property and sacred places.
“There are organized groups that carry out acts of sabotage in these gatherings and set fire to public property by being present in different areas; They are not after Ms. Amini's issue at all, and under this excuse they started rioting and made the people face problems in the country,” Vahidi said.
“The issue of such riots is not related to Ms. Amini at all, and some people used this issue as an excuse to wreak havoc in the country,” he added.
The Iranian interior minister stressed that, “The enemies have a false conception; they think that they can overthrow this establishment with such riots, which is childish thinking… Whenever the country is making progress, enemies try to undermine the achievements of the country by bringing about riots.”
Amini, who had been taken to a police station in Tehran to receive educational training on Hijab and dress code rules, was reported to have suddenly collapsed on the ground and then put into an ambulance to be transferred to the hospital.
Police later released the CCTV footage of the young woman in the station, which fully confirmed the veracity of police reports on her death.
Tehran Police Chief Brigadier General Hossein Rahimi also refuted claims that Amini had been mistreated during the dress code educational session, saying no physical contact happened between officers and the young woman. Iran’s Judiciary officials gave assurances that a thorough investigation into her death was underway.
Several Iranian intelligence and military bodies have issued separate statements in condemnation of the riots. They say the recent plot hatched by the enemies is also doomed to failure.
The riots have also inflicted damage on public property. The Iranian Health Ministry announced on Thursday that over 60 ambulances have been destroyed during the riots in several cities.
Describing the attacks on ambulances as an inhumane act, the ministry said the move had disrupted emergency health services.
Millions of Iranians took to the streets nationwide after Friday prayers in condemnation of the desecration of Islamic sanctities and acts of vandalism by rioters.