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Iran: Former MP acknowledges security forces slaughtered protesters in 2019

Major anti-regime protests in Iran – November 2019
Major anti-regime protests in Iran – November 2019

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, April 6, 2021—In a recently published video clip, former member of Majlis (Parliament) Mahmoud Sadeghi acknowledged the Iranian regime’s deliberate killing of people in the streets during anti-regime protests of 2019. According to Sadeghi, these killings were under the supervision of Ali Shamkhani, the regime’s Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council.

“In some committees that were created to discuss the events I asked if there was any sign of opposition groups, but they said no. I told Mr. Shamkhani that these are people. They are killing people in the street, what are you doing? Will you continued to kill if they remain in the streets? Shamkhani said yes we will do it,” Sadeghi acknowledged.

Background

During the November 2019 nationwide protests, the regime’s suppressive forces have gunned down 1500 protesters in the streets. The protests began on November 15 following the tripled gasoline price. On the same night, the Iranian people, frustrated from economic constraints, poured into the streets in different cities to voice their outrage at the government’s policies.

From the early morning of Saturday, November 16, people began lighting fires in the streets, turning off their vehicles to block roads, and closing highways and other paths leading to the country’s cities. The protests quickly spread to more than 190 cities across the country and turned into a nationwide rally against the regime.

Demands for the decrease in gasoline prices turned into slogans against regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei, calling for regime change. “Death to Khamenei,” “Death to the dictator” and “Dictator, let go of the country,” slogans that were previously a taboo under the suppressive rule of the mullahs, were chanted by large crowds in the streets of many cities.

On Sunday, November 17, Khamenei associated this uprising with the Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and ordered an all-out crackdown.

“These people are thugs. Who is responsible for arson and destruction and fights and creating insecurity? They should understand this and pay attention to this. The people must understand this as well and distance themselves from these people. This is our suggestion. The country’s officials must live up to their responsibilities and take serious action,” Khamenei said.“You see that over the past two days, the two nights and one day, in which these incidents happened, all of the world’s centers of evil have encouraged these actions against us…The wicked and criminal collective of the hypocrites (the regime’s derogatory reference to the MEK), they are constantly encouraging and inviting people on social networks and elsewhere to conduct these evil acts.”

A Reuters report later confirmed that Khamenei explicitly ordered the massacre of the protesters. “Do whatever it takes to end it,” Khamenei told top security and government officials, according to Reuters.

These remarks by Khamenei shed light on his deep concerns about the uprising overthrowing his entire regime. He issued orders for a massive crackdown, allowing his forces to launch a killing spree. As a result, they gunned down at least 1,500 people.