The granddaughter of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, has urged governments to cut ties with Tehran over the crackdown on anti-regime protests.
Farideh Moradkhani, the ayatollah’s nephew, has called on “conscientious people of the world” to support the protesters and pressure their governments to move away from Iran.
“I call on the conscientious people of the world to stand by our side and ask their governments not to react with empty words and slogans, but with real deeds and stop any relationship with this regime,” she said in a video posted by her brother after the his arrest. on November 23rd.
Moradkhani’s family has long opposed Khomeini, and her arrest makes her the closest living relative of the supreme leader she imprisoned. She has been arrested on two previous occasions for activism.
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Protests against the regime have now lasted for three months following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in police custody for allegedly violating the country’s hijab (headscarf) laws.
The Iranian government responded to the protests with the utmost severity: security forces used live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas to try to put down the demonstrations.
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The country’s foreign ministry said it would not cooperate with any UN fact-finding mission to investigate the government’s response after the Human Rights Council voted to appoint an independent investigator.
At least 451 people have died, including 63 minors, with another 18,173 detained since the protests began, according to the human rights activists news agency.
Iranian courts last week began handing down death sentences to protesters, citing arson and other similar crimes to justify the executions.
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Protesters torched a museum dedicated to the regime’s founder, Ayatolloh Ruhollah Khomeini, in a very direct act of defiance against the nation’s ruler.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.