Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Saturday vowed to intensify a crackdown against protesters after more than a week of anti-government demonstrations that have left 35 people dead.
Iran must “deal decisively with those who oppose the country’s security and tranquillity,” Raisi was quoted as saying by state media, according to a Reuters report.
Officials said on Saturday that 35 people have been killed since protests started over the death of a woman in police custody. Mahsa Amini died after being detained by Iran’s morality police for allegedly breaking headscarf rules.
The 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman was pronounced dead after three days in a coma, prompting thousands of people to flock to the streets of major cities including Tehran in protest. Large demonstrations spread in the following days to most of the country, with women waving and burning their hijabs.
Police have carried out sweeping arrests of hundreds of protesters and opened fire on crowds in Tehran, according to media reports. Amnesty International warned on Friday of the risk of further bloodshed and denounced the brutality of authorities.
The U.S. announced on Friday it will ease internet curbs on Iran after an internet blackout continued to disrupt or block Iranians’ ability to communicate on platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp.