A brutal crackdown by the Iranian government has left at least 180 demonstrators dead after they participated in protests that were initially sparked by an unexpected increase in fuel prices.
“Altogether, from 180 to 450 people, and possibly more, were killed in four days of intense violence after the gasoline price increase was announced on Nov. 15, with at least 2,000 wounded and 7,000 detained, according to international rights organizations, opposition groups and local journalists,” The New York Times reported.
The largest single incident of the Islamic Republic allegedly murdering unarmed citizens happened in the city of Mahshahr, where “Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps members surrounded, shot and killed 40 to 100 demonstrators – mostly unarmed young men – in a sugar cane field where they had sought refuge,” The Times reported.
A local reporter told The Times that in three days, approximately 130 protesters were killed by the Iranian government, including those who were massacred in the sugar cane field.
Omid Memarian, who is deputy director at the Center for Human Rights in Iran, told The Times: “The recent use of lethal force against people throughout the country is unprecedented, even for the Islamic Republic and its record of violence.”
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported last week that Abolfazl Bahrampur, an Iranian Quran interpreter and translator, was featured on Iranian state television where he said that the Quran instructs that the protesters be murdered and it would not be an exaggeration if Iran killed 10,000 protesters.
“In the interview, Bahrampur said that according to the Quran, the punishment for protesters should be slaughtering, which is death in agony or chopping off their hands and feet on alternate sides of their bodies,” MEMRI reported. “He continued to say that the punishment must be carried out in public and in the place where the crimes were committed and they must be crucified as well, in order to serve as a deterrent for ‘the people who wait behind the scenes for America’s orders’. He said that killing 10,000 of the protesters would not be an exaggeration.”