About a week into the Islamic Republic’s military attacks on Kurdish regions in Iran and Iraq, the international community seems to have taken a stronger stance against the Tehran.
Tuesday was another tension-filled day for residents of Kurdish-majority cities in western Iran while people in many other cities, including capital Tehran and its neighboring cities as well as others in the southwestern Khuzestan province and southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province also held gatherings in support of their fellow Kurdish countrymen.
In addition to Kurdish cities, people in the city of Shahr-e-Rey in Tehran province, Dezful and Andimeshk in Khuzestan, Zahedan in Sistan-Baluchestan, and Mehr County in Fars province as well as in several neighborhoods in Tehran held rallies, set fire to trash cans and chanted slogans against the regime’s clampdown.
While the Islamic Republic has cut people's access to the Internet in Kurdish-majority cities and also disrupted to access in Tehran, videos are slow to surface online but according to reports protests started before noon at university campuses across the country. Workers in several industrial complexes and numerous businesses were also on strike on Tuesday, and by afternoon people started pouring into streets, chanting slogans against the government.
While Iran's Revolutionary Guard has intensified attacks on Iraq’s Kurdistan region, the United States and Israel announced that they would hold a joint air exercise next week simulating scenarios against the Islamic Republic and its proxies in the region. The announcement came as Israeli officials warned in the past few days that the unabating protests across Iran may push the Islamic Republic to be more aggressive regionally.
The head of Israel’s military intelligence, Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, Monday said, “The extremely exceptional protests… have moved to a civilian rebellion. The death toll, the attacks on national symbols, this is very troubling for the regime, in combination with sanctions,” adding that “as the pressure on Iran increases, including internal pressure, the Iranian response is much more aggressive, so we should expect much more aggressive responses in the region and in the world.”
The global outcry over the crackdown on protests is gaining a new momentum following the European Parliament’s announcement on Monday that it would not keep direct contact with the Islamic Republic authorities.
European Parliament member Charlie Weimers told a special session of EU Parliament on Iran Tuesday that "The Iranian protesters want a divorce from the Islamic Republic, not counselling," calling on EU countries to expel the Tehran’s diplomats, recall EU envoys, shut down Iran’s embassies and proscribe the Revolutionary Guard as a terror organization.
Also on Monday, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said, “there will be no direct contact between the Parliament and Iranian officials until further notice,” adding that the Islamic Republic must stop its oppression of legitimate protests. In reaction to the death sentences imposed on protesters, Metsola urged Iranian authorities to “stop, here and now”.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday that Washington is "gravely concerned" about the Islamic Republic's intensifying crackdown on peaceful protestors that has killed at least 400 people so far.
The UN’s Third Committee approved a draft resolution on Iran’s human rights situation last week, expressing concern at the alarmingly high frequency of the death penalty in the country. Moreover, the UN Human Rights Council will also adopt a resolution aimed at holding the Islamic Republic accountable on November 24.
Voicing concerns over the situation in Iran and especially Kurdish cities, the UN Human Rights council said at least 40 people were killed by security forces over the past week. “We urge your authorities to address the people's demands for equality, dignity and rights instead of using unnecessary or disproportionate force to suppress the protests,” said a spokesperson for UN human rights chief at a Geneva press briefing.
UN human rights chief Volker Türk said that "The rising number of deaths from protests in Iran, including those of two children at the weekend, and the hardening of the response by security forces, underline the critical situation in the country."
Also on Tuesday, German MP Norbert Röttgen highlighted that "Since the weekend, the regime has been literally waging war against protesters in the Kurdish regions of Iran. The fact that the German Federal Government has so far been silent on this issue now borders on a political and moral failure on a historic scale."