One person was killed when security forces in Iran attacked people who were out on streets celebrating the elimination of Iran’s soccer team that is seen as siding with the regime. 

As it was expected by many Iranians before Team Melli’s match against the US in Qatar, regime agents were prepared for two scenarios. They would be out on streets in large numbers to celebrate if the team had managed to qualify for the knockout stage, and they were ordered to crack down on people who were cheering for the loss of the team, which they regard as the representatives of the theocratic regime and not the nation. 

People in many cities poured into streets dancing, honking and chanting antigovernment slogans when security agents attacked them with batons and in some cases opened fire at them. In the northern city of Bandaranzali, the agents opened fire at the cars that were honking, injuring several people. A 27-year-old man, identified as Mehran Samak, was hit in the head with a bullet and died at the hospital. 

27-year-old Mehran Samak, who was hit in the head in the city of BandarAnzali with a bullet and died at the hospital on November 30, 2022

According to videos on social media, security forces also opened fire at people in the cities of Zahedan and Iranshahr in Sistan-Baluchestan province, Izeh, Behbahan and Dezful in Khuzestan, and Kashan.

In neighborhoods around the capital Tehran and several other cities such as Qazvin and karaj, security forces attacked people with batons and beat them violently before making arrests. There are also photos of car windows broken by bullets. 

There were other locations, especially in Kurdish-majority cities, where crowds celebrating the loss of the team were so large that security forces did not dare interfere. People in Kurdish cities of Sanandaj, Marivan, Mahabad, Bukan, Paveh, Ravansar and Kermanshah held large gatherings and in some cases clashed with security forces. In Kamyaran, people are seen setting fire to a government building. 

The religious cities of Mashhad and Qom were also scenes of people hugging and congratulating each other for the perceived humiliation of the Islamic Republic, which had heavily invested in the World Cup in Qatar to use it as a public victory. 

The regime had given thousands of tickets to its supporters to populate the stadiums with symbols and flags of the clerical regime. Qatar was even cooperating so much that its police stopped anyone who wanted to enter the stadiums with flags and signs opposing the Iranian government. 

The Qatari police also prevented any symbol in support of the protests from entering the venues of the tourney. They would not let Iranian fans carry placards with the name or photos of dead protesters. Police prevented people bringing signs supporting women or mentioning Mahsa Amini, whose death in police custody marked the beginning of the current wave of antigovernment rallies. However, they had no problem with the Islamic Republic’s supporters carrying photos of slain IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani, someone designated as a terrorist before his targeted killing by the United States in 2020. 

Emboldened by their presence in large numbers at stadiums, regime supporters even attacked Iranians who were chanting antigovernment slogans or carrying placards with the motto of the protests – woman, life, freedom -- outside the stadiums. The Qatari police just stood by without interfering as the regime supporters attacked and beat other Iranians. The only thing they did was confiscate the camera of a foreign journalist who was recording the fight. 

In another video, a couple, wearing t-shirts with the motto, is seen after being injured by the pro-regime Iranians as they are upset that security forces did not stop their fight with the regime supporters. 

G4 Protest Special - Evening (2023)
IITV News (54) - DC
IITV News (54) - DC

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