Biden condemns Iran's 'violent' response to protests

US 'stands with Iranian women and all the citizens of Iran', president says

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US President Joe Biden on Monday denounced Iran's handling of widespread protests over the death of Mahsa Amini and said there would be “further costs” introduced.

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

Amini, 22, died while in morality police custody after she was detained for allegedly wearing her headscarf too loosely. The morality police are in charge of enforcing the country's strict dress code for women.

Three weeks of nationwide protests against the treatment of women and government repression followed, with close to 100 deaths reported during the ensuing police crackdown.

“For decades, Iran’s regime has denied fundamental freedoms to its people and suppressed the aspirations of successive generations through intimidation, coercion and violence,” Mr Biden said.

“The United States stands with Iranian women and all the citizens of Iran who are inspiring the world with their bravery.”

He shared that the US is expanding internet access in the country as Tehran tries to limit it.

The US president also announced that there will be “further costs” on Iran.

“This week, the United States will be imposing further costs on perpetrators of violence against peaceful protesters,” he said.

“We will continue holding Iranian officials accountable and supporting the rights of Iranians to protest freely.”

US sanctions were filed against the morality police in late September.

Also on Monday, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blamed the US and Israel for the “disturbances” in his first remarks addressing the protests.

It is not the first time Mr Biden has voiced support for the Iranian people — he also did so during his speech at the UN General Assembly in September.

“Today we stand with the brave citizens and women in Iran who right now are demonstrating to secure their basic rights,” he said.

Updated: October 03, 2022, 10:11 PM
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