Joe Biden Vows Solidarity With Iran Women Amid “Anti-Hijab” Protests

Vice President Biden gave a rousing address in favour of restoring a nuclear bargain with Tehran and a salute to the protestors at the United Nations immediately after a combative statement by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

Joe Biden Vows Solidarity With Iran Women Amid Anti-Hijab Protests (1)

In the wake of escalating demonstrations over the murder of a young lady seized by morality police in Iran, Vice President Joe Biden promised Wednesday at the United Nations to stand in solidarity with Iranian women.
Shortly after Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s forceful statement at the United Nations, Vice President Joe Biden addressed the assembly, where he both applauded the demonstrators and reaffirmed his support for salvaging a nuclear deal with Tehran.

“Today we stand with the courageous folks and the brave women of Iran who are right now marching to secure their basic rights,” Biden told the General Assembly.

The murder on Friday of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who had been detained for reportedly wearing a hijab headgear in a “improper” style, has sparked widespread outrage in the Islamic republic.

Although authorities have disputed that the woman, whose first name is Jhina in Kurdish, was killed by a hit to the head, activists have made that assertion.

Some women protesters have been seen on camera ripping off their hijabs in public and burning them in bonfires or performing symbolic hair cuts in front of applauding audiences.

At a gathering in Tehran, demonstrators could be heard yelling, “No to the headscarf, no to the turban, yes to freedom and equality!” This event was followed by similar demonstrations in other countries to show support.

Activists reported violence in towns including Urmia and Sardasht on Wednesday night, the sixth consecutive night of protests across Iran.
Demonstrators in southern Iran were shown on camera on Wednesday allegedly torching a giant mural depicting Revolutionary Guards leader General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in an airstrike by the United States in Iraq in 2020.

Hundreds have been arrested and tear gas has been used to disperse protesters in 15 locations around Iran, according to official media.

Article 19, a human rights organisation based in London, has expressed “grave concern” about allegations of the “unlawful use of force” by Iranian police and security services, particularly the use of live fire.

According to the official IRNA news agency, demonstrators threw stones at security officers, burned police cars and trash cans, and yelled anti-government chants.

Despite Internet limitations reported by internet access watchdog Netblocks, videos of demonstrators chanting slogans like “Death to the tyrant” and “Woman, life, freedom” travelled beyond Iran and into the global consciousness.

Disparate treatment

During his UN speech, Raisi brought up the killings of Indigenous women in Canada, Israeli aggression toward Palestinians, and the “savagery” of the Islamic State organisation toward women of different faiths.

We can never achieve genuine justice and fairness, Raisi said, so long as “this double standard” persisted.

He also rejected Western demands to restore a nuclear agreement from 2015, saying that Iran “is not attempting to construct or get nuclear weapons and such weapons have no place in our philosophy.”

“the Iranian leadership should note that the people are unhappy with the route that they have chosen,” stated British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.

“They could give up their plans to develop nuclear weapons. They have the power to end the silencing of dissenting opinions in their own country. They might cease their efforts to create instability, “told AFP at the UN.

“There may be an alternative way out. We hope Iran will follow this course, which will lead to a more prosperous country, a more peaceful society, and a more prominent role for Iran in international affairs.”

In a meeting with Raisi on Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron reportedly urged her to “respect for women’s rights.”

Big surprise

When compared to the turmoil in November 2019 over gasoline price increases, these demonstrations are among the most significant to have taken place in Iran in recent memory.

According to Iran analyst David Rigoulet-Roze of the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs, the wave of protest over Amini’s death “is a very serious shock, it is a societal catastrophe.”

Amini’s native region of Kurdistan erupted in protests on Friday; governor Ismail Zarei Koosha said three deaths were the result of “a plan by the enemy” on Tuesday.

Tasnim news agency reports that Ali Azadi, chief of Kurdistan police, made the announcement of another fatality on Wednesday.

The prosecutor of Kermanshah province, Shahram Karami, was cited by Fars news agency as claiming that two additional demonstrators “were slain during the rioting,” attributing the deaths to “counter-revolutionary operatives.”

And according to Hengaw, a Kurdish rights organisation headquartered in Norway, two demonstrators, ages 16 and 23, were slain in West Azerbaijan province throughout the night.

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