Iran’s Supreme Leader's niece, an outspoken rights activist, has called on foreign governments to cut all diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic, in a video released after her arrest.

The video message was released on Friday, less than a week after US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reported the detention of Farideh Moradkhani, whose late father was a prominent opposition figure married to Khamenei's sister. 

Decrying the Islamic Republic's bloody crackdown on protests, sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, she called on people in other countries to be "with us and tell your governments to stop supporting this murderous and child-killing regime. This regime is not loyal to any of its religious principles and does not know any rules except force and maintaining power."

Human beings around the world are watching the battle between Iranians and the evil forces of the regime, she said, criticizing the United Nations for lack of action against the Islamic Republic except for statements of condemnation. According to HRANA, 450 protesters have been killed in more than two months of nationwide unrest as of November 26, including 63 minors. Over 18,173 protesters have also been detained.

She called on the world to end the reign of her uncle, describing him as similar to dictators such as Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Nicolae Ceaușescu, Muammar Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, and the Islamic Republic’s founder Ruhollah Khomeini. 

"Now is the time for all free and democratic countries to recall their representatives from Iran as a symbolic gesture and to expel the representatives of this brutal regime from their countries," she said.

The video was shared on YouTube on Friday by her brother, France-based Mahmoud Moradkhani, who presents himself as "an opponent of the Islamic Republic" on his Twitter account. He reported her sister's arrest as she was heeding a court order to appear at the Tehran prosecutor's office. Farideh Moradkhani was arrested also earlier this year by Iran's Intelligence Ministry and later released on bail. She had earlier faced a 15-year prison sentence on unspecified charges.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei during a meeting with paramilitary Basij forces on November 26, 2022

Her father, Ali Moradkhani Arangeh, was a Shiite cleric married to Khamenei's sister and passed away in Tehran on October 19 following years of isolation due to his critical stance against the Islamic Republic. Upon return to Iran from Iraq, where he fled to avoid arrest, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1995 but was released ten years later in 2005. 

Criticism of the Islamic Republic has been growing by relatives of top officials. In 2012, Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani, the daughter of late former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, was sentenced to jail for "anti-state propaganda".

On Thursday, the United Nations Human Rights Council convened to discuss the deteriorating situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially with respect to women and children and approved establishing a new investigative mission to probe into Tehran's clampdown on antigovernment protests.

On Saturday, Khamenei praised the country’s Basij paramilitary force for its role in the deadly crackdown, saying, “When facing the enemy on the field of battle, the Basij has always shown itself to be courageous, not afraid of the enemy.”

His remarks came as the situation in Iran remained tense Saturday as people closed their businesses to show support for protests and students held sit-ins at different universities.



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