The speaker of Iran's parliament has warned that protests over the murder of a young woman in police custody could destabilize the country and asked security forces to take stern action against individuals he deems to be a threat to public order.
Yesterday, social media reports indicated that scattered anti-government demonstrations and running confrontations with police officers looked to have erupted in Tehran and other cities, while the Iranian government sought to partially or completely ban internet connectivity.
Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf told legislators that, unlike the present rallies, which he believed were intended to overthrow the government, earlier demonstrations by teachers and retirees over salary were intended to bring about reforms.
Mr. Qalibaf stated that "the most important aspect of the (past) protests was that they were reform-oriented and not aimed at overthrowing the system." "I implore all protesters to prevent their actions from destabilizing and toppling institutions," the author writes.
In the past two weeks, thousands of Iranians have come to the streets to protest the killing of Mahsa Amini. The 22-year-old woman was jailed in Tehran by Iran's morality police for allegedly violating the country's strict Islamic dress code.
The demonstrators have expressed their outrage at the Islamic republic's treatment of women and wider repression. Since 1979, Iran has been governed by a religious system. The widespread rallies quickly morphed into calls for its overthrow.
Since the demonstrations began on September 17, at least 41 protestors and police have been murdered, according to Iranian official television.
Mr. Qalibaf, the speaker of the Iranian parliament, is a former important commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard. He is one of three high-ranking officials who deal with all significant national issues.