Tue, 05 Dec 2023

Washington [US], October 4 (ANI): US President Joe Biden on Monday (local time) said that America will place "further costs" on Iran in response to the violent crackdown against the university students' "peaceful protests".

In a statement issued by the White House, Biden said that the US will continue holding Iranian officials accountable and supporting the rights of people to protest freely.

"This week, the United States will be imposing further costs on perpetrators of violence against peaceful protestors. We will continue holding Iranian officials accountable and supporting the rights of Iranians to protest freely," he said in a statement.

Furthermore in the statement, Biden said that US is making it easier for Iranians to access the internet, including by facilitating greater access to secure, outside platforms and services.

"The United States is also holding accountable Iranian officials and entities, such as the Morality Police, that are responsible for employing violence to suppress civil society," he said.

Iran has witnessed protests, after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old from Iranian Kurdistan. as per reports, at least 92 people have been killed nationwide in Iran amid protests.

"I remain gravely concerned about reports of the intensifying violent crackdown on peaceful protestors in Iran, including students and women, who are demanding their equal rights and basic human dignity," Biden said.

Asserting that the US stands with Iranian women and all the citizens of Iran who are inspiring the world with their bravery, Biden said that for decades, Iran's regime has denied fundamental freedoms to its people and suppressed the aspirations of successive generations through intimidation, coercion, and violence.

Meanwhile, Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has blamed the United States for the ongoing protest in the country.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony on Monday, Khamenei said he was heartbroken at the death of the 22-year-old girl in police custody. However, he did not approve of the large-scale demonstrations following the death of Amini.

"We were heartbroken, too. But the reaction to this incident, while no investigation has been done and nothing has been certain, should not have been this that some people come and make the streets insecure, cause the people to feel unsafe, harm the security, burn the Quran, remove the hijab of a woman, burn mosques and hussainiyahs, and arson banks and people's cars," he was quoted as saying by news agency IRNA.

Ayatollah Khamenei alleged that this chaos was planned by the United States and some Iranians who are living abroad have helped them.

Since Amini's death, thousands have joined anti-government demonstrations throughout the country. Security forces have responded at times with live ammunition, and many people have been killed, injured and detained in the protests.

The UN chief Antonio Guterres had earlier said that he was becoming "increasingly concerned" about reports of the death toll rising, "including women and children."In his statement released via his Spokesperson, UN Secretary-General said he had been following events closely, and he called on security forces to stop using "unnecessary or disproportionate force".

He appealed for restraint, to avoid any escalation: "We underline the need for a prompt, impartial and effective investigation into Mahsa Amini's death by an independent competent authority." (ANI)

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