Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s sister has condemned the nationwide crackdown on protests and called on the Revolutionary Guards to lay down their arms.
Badri Hosseini Khamenei, who lives in Irancriticized his brother’s “despotic caliphate”, according to a letter published by his France-based son.
Protests calling for the overthrow of Iran’s religious leaders are now in their fourth month, following the death of a 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in police custody.
The scheme has sought to blame the unrest on Kurdish separatists and foreign powers, but scholars say this is a false accusation and that the protests involve all levels of Iranian society.
Ms Khamenei, who lives in Iran, has been critical of the clerical establishment from the time of the Islamic Republic’s late founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini until her brother’s rule, the letter dated “December 2022” said.
“I think it is appropriate now to state that I oppose my brother’s actions and express my sympathy to all mothers who mourn the crimes of the Islamic Republic, from the time of Khomeini to the present era. of Ali Khamenei’s despotic caliphate,” she said. wrote in the letter which was shared Wednesday on the Twitter account of his son, Mahmoud Moradkhani.
“The Revolutionary Guards and Ali Khamenei’s mercenaries should lay down their arms as soon as possible and join the people before it is too late,” the letter said.
Confusion in Iran as rumors swirl over future of morality police
Inside the protests that sent Iran to ‘the brink of explosion’
His letter comes after the feared Revolutionary Guards shared a statement calling on the judiciary to ‘show no mercy to rioters, thugs and terrorists’ – possibly a sign that the authorities have failed. intend to ease their fierce repression.
At least 473 protesters have died in the recent unrest, including 64 children, according to the HRANA news agency.
However, Ms. Khamenei is not the only member of the Ayatollah’s family to speak out against him.
Her niece Farideh Moradkhani, a well-known human rights activist, called on foreign governments to cut all ties with Tehran’s “murderous, child-killing regime” in a video shared by his brother last month.
In the video, she says, “Now is the time for all free and democratic countries to recall their representatives from Iran as a symbolic gesture and expel the representatives of this brutal regime from their country.”