Protesters in Iran have called for a three-day strike this week amid conflicting reports that the nation’s “morality police” had been shut down, and as the US said the leadership in Tehran had locked itself into a “vicious cycle” that had cut it off from its own people and the international community.
The call steps up pressure on Iranian authorities after the attorney general said this weekend that the morality police – whose detention of a young woman triggered months of protests – had been shut down.
There was no confirmation of the closure from the interior ministry, which is in charge of the morality police, and Iranian state media said the attorney general, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, was not responsible for overseeing the force.
On Sunday, after a closed meeting with several senior Iranian officials including President Ebrahim Raisi, lawmaker Nezamoddin Mousavi told semi-official news agency Isna that the government was “paying attention to the people’s real demands”, though he did not address the reported closure of the morality police.
Hundreds of people have been killed in the unrest that erupted in September after the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman who was detained by the morality police for breaking hijab rules.
Montazeri also said on Saturday that the government was reviewing the law on the compulsory hijab, one of the issues that sparked the protests that have lasted more than 10 weeks.
The activist HRANA news agency said 470 people had been killed as of Saturday, including 64 minors. [Continue reading…]