The hardliner government in Tehran is signalling its readiness to get even tougher with protesters, who have come out every single day in the past six weeks.

The Iranian government’s official mouthpiece, Iran newspaper, which is owned by the administration of President Ebrahim Raisi, warned Iranians October 27 that security forces are going to get even tougher, while at least 270 protesters have already been killed.

In a commentary entitled “The end of Toleration,” the daily said after the attack on the Shah Cheragh Shrine in Shiraz, the regime will no longer tolerate any protests. This comes while the government has attributed the attack on the shrine to the Islamic State (ISIS) with which the protesters have not shown any sympathy and have likened the regime to ISIS terrorists.

Iran newspaper charged that it was the protests that has encouraged ISIS to undermine Iran’s security.

In a similar stance, hardliner member of the Iranian Parliament Esmaili Kowsari, said in Tehran that the officials are tasking new decisions about how to tackle the ongoing unrest and warned, “You will see that the situation will be different from previous days.”

Kowsari said on Iranian state television on Thursday: “Perhaps the rioters can still scare the businesses like they did on the previous days, but they can never attract the sympathy and support of many Iranians.” He further warned that officials are making new decisions about encountering what he called “riots”.

IRGC general and member of parliament, Esmail Kowsari

The hardliner lawmaker who is a senior officer of the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) and was previously in charge of Tehran’s security for over a decade, claimed that “compared to the protests in 2019 that followed a sudden fuel price rise, there are fewer protesters in the streets and the protests are generally less intense.”

He warned the protesters while referring to the attack in Shiraz that “foreign countries whose hybrid war in Iran has not been fruitful, have turned to terrorism in order to scare Iranians.” Kowsari made the comment while most Iranians on social media believe, based on previous experience, that the government was behind the attack with the aim of derailing the protests.

Stressing that the government will change its approach, Kowsari said that so far it hoped the people would realise that their slogans were not true. Most slogans chanted by protesters vehemently rejected Khamenei and the Islamic regime. Meanwhile Kowsari accused foreign countries of being behind the ongoing uprising and promised to deal with those countries.

On Friday, prayer Imams in various cities, who are directly appointed by Khamenei, called on the security forces to adopt tougher measures against the protesters. Mohammad Javad Haj Ali Akbari, the imam in Tehran vowed to take revenge from the perpetrators of the attack on the shrine in Shiraz and blamed the United States and Israel for the blood spilled in Shiraz. He said in a controversial statement: “The United States is the same as the Islamic States. Only it wears perfume.”

He said the attack in Shiraz took place because the demonstrators had played with the country’s security and warned that no one can do that any longer. Haj Ali Akbari said: “We blame the United States and Israel for all the bloodshed and promise to take revenge for them.”

The Imam in Isfahan, Abolhassan Mahdavi, claimed that regime’s security forces attack the women among the protesters because Western countries encourage them not to wear hijab. He further claimed that wearing hijab will cleanse the society.

The Friday Imam of Isfahan further charged that protesters have received money from foreigners to undermine the importance of hijab. He called on the police and other security forces as well as the judiciary to forcefully deal with those who are against hijab. He charged that not having hijab is tantamount to prostitution.

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