Thu, 28 Sep 2023

Washington [US], October 4 (ANI): The White House on Monday (local time) said that it is "alarmed and appalled" by reports of Iranian security forces' response to the university students' peaceful protests with violence and mass arrests.

"We're alarmed and appalled by reports of security authorities responding to university students' peaceful protests with violence and mass arrests. University students are the talented young people who should be the future of Iran," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters traveling with President Joe Biden to Puerto Rico.

Iran has witnessed protests, after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old from Iranian Kurdistan. as per reports, at least 92 people have been killed nationwide in Iran amid protests.

The White House press secretary also said that the students are "rightly engaged (enraged) by the death of Mahsa Amini, the Iranian government's treatment of women and girls, and the ongoing violent crackdown on peaceful protests.""This weekend's crackdowns are precisely the sort of behaviour that drives Iran's talented young people to leave a country by the thousands to seek dignity and opportunity elsewhere," she added.

Meanwhile, Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has blamed the United States for the ongoing protest in the country.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony on Monday, Khamenei said he was heartbroken at the death of the 22-year-old girl in police custody. However, he did not approve of the large-scale demonstrations following the death of Amini.

"We were heartbroken, too. But the reaction to this incident, while no investigation has been done and nothing has been certain, should not have been this that some people come and make the streets insecure, cause the people to feel unsafe, harm the security, burn the Quran, remove the hijab of a woman, burn mosques and hussainiyahs, and arson banks and people's cars," he was quoted as saying by news agency IRNA.

Ayatollah Khamenei alleged that this chaos was planned by the United States and some Iranians who are living abroad have helped them.

Since Amini's death, thousands have joined anti-government demonstrations throughout the country. Security forces have responded at times with live ammunition, and many people have been killed, injured and detained in the protests.

The UN chief Antonio Guterres had erlier said that he was becoming "increasingly concerned" about reports of the death toll rising, "including women and children."In his statement released via his Spokesperson, UN Secretary-General said he had been following events closely, and he called on security forces to stop using "unnecessary or disproportionate force".

He appealed for restraint, to avoid any escalation: "We underline the need for a prompt, impartial and effective investigation into Mahsa Amini's death by an independent competent authority." (ANI)

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