Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, December 4, 2019—In a recent interview on state TV aired on Sunday, December 1, Leila Vatheghi, governor of Ghale Hasan Khan (Qods city), located west of Tehran, acknowledged ordering security forces to shoot and kill protesters. “I had ordered security forces to shoot and kill anyone who entered through the gates of the governor’s building,” she said. Reports indicate security forces opened fire on protesters based on Vatheghi’s orders, killing and injuring dozens.
International law bans opening fire on unarmed protesters. The United Nations Human Rights Office issued a statement on November 19 expressing grave concerns over the use of live ammunition by the Iranian regime’s security forces against protesters and called on regime officials to refrain from resorting to the use of force.
Shahr-e Quds, west of Tehran, #Iran— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) 19 November 2019
(Ghale Hasan Khan)
Monday, November 18
Fierce clashes reported between protesters and the regime's oppressive security forces.#IranProtestspic.twitter.com/Pehyochtrn
Vatheghi made it clear in her remarks that as protesters entered the building, she left the premises to return “with more security forces” and was “very angry and upset” about the entire ordeal. In an interview with state-run media, Vatheghi also praised the security forces, especially the IRGC, for opening fire on protesters.
Her remarks and the fact that her orders for security forces to open fire on protesters has prompted in a massive wave of criticism. Even according to the regime’s own laws, a city governor does not have the authority to order security forces to open fire and provincial security councils are only permitted to issue such orders.
Ghale Hasan Khan (Qods city) is located among a number of large industrial complexes and its residents are mostly migrants. Many locals are out of work due to the fact that industrial factories and production lines have been shut down. This town was one of the main centers of protests during the recent uprising following the November 15 gas price hike that raised fuel costs up to 300 percent.
In a state TV interview, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, the Interior Minister of the mullahs’ regime, praised Vatheghi and her “on the ground management” during the recent protests. He never mentioned the protesters.
These remarks by a city governor, being appointed by the apparatus of Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani, sheds important light on the strong ties linking the so-called “reformist” branch of the mullahs’ regime to the hardliners and the IRGC. When a governor very openly cites such a close relationship with the IRGC and reveals the direct contact established between regime officials, it leaves no doubt that the entire reformist/moderates playbook is nothing but a charade directed under close supervision by Khamenei himself.
In a recent update, Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) is reporting the number of protesters killed by the Iranian regime during the November uprising has surpassed 1000. The protests spread to at least 189 cities and towns, with the confirmed reports indicating at least 4,000 injured and over 12,000 protesters arrested. Popular reports yet to be confirmed are placing all numbers far higher.
The mullahs’ regime is refusing to officially acknowledge the horrific scope of the crackdown. Iranian authorities shut down the internet in an unprecedented manner for five days, preventing activists and locals from providing on the ground reports and footage.
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) released the names of 28 more martyrs of the Iranian people’s nationwide protests. Previously, the names of 194 victims had been released. This brings to 222 the names of those shot and killed by the Iranian regime in 187 cities.
Leyla Vatheghi, the so-called reformist has strong ties with terrorist IRGC forces
Leyla Vatheghi, governor of Ghale Hasan Khan (Qods city), located west of Tehran, Iran