By Biodun Busari
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has accused the United States of resorting to destabilising Iran as protests hit 19 cities over the death of 22-year-old Masha Amini.
Vanguard reported early this week that the woman’s death in the detention of police for allegedly not adhering strictly to dress codes had sparked demonstrations since September 17.
Protesters mostly female students in Tehran, the Iranian capital city and other cities have been calling for the removal or death of Raisi.
Raisi, reacting to the unrest at a summit in Kazakhstan said the US is behind the protests through the policy of destabilisation.
“Following the failure of America in militarization and sanctions, Washington and its allies have resorted to the failed policy of destabilization,” Raisi said.
The Times of Israel said the protests have claimed 185 lives becoming one of the greatest challenges to Iran’s theocracy since the country’s 2009 Green Movement.
Demonstrators have included oil workers, high school students, and women marching without their mandatory headscarf, or hijab.
“Death to the dictator,” shouted female students who had boldly taken off their headscarves as they marched down a Tehran street.
Lawyers also peacefully demonstrated in front of the Iran Central Bar Association in Tehran, chanting: “Woman, life, freedom.”
The security forces fired tear gas at them and at least three lawyers were among some two dozen arrested there according to a human rights group’s report in the country.