Iranian protesters chant against riots as they mourn victims of shrine attack
Mourners gathered in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz on Saturday to bury the victims of a deadly attack on a shrine, while chanting slogans against nationwide ‘riots’ after the death of Mahsa Amini.
At least 15 people were killed on Wednesday at a major Shia Muslim shrine in the city, according to state media, in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.
The shooting at Shah Cheragh’s mausoleum took place the same day thousands of people across Iran paid their respects to Amini, 40 days after his death in police custody.
Amini, 22, died on September 16, three days after she was arrested by Tehran vice police for allegedly breaking the Islamic dress code for women.
The Shiraz attacker, identified by local media as Hamed Badakhshan, died of injuries sustained during his arrest, a local official said on Saturday.
“Despite all efforts, the terrorist who attacked the pilgrims at the shrine is dead,” Deputy Governor Esmail Mohebipour was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.
Comments made by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Thursday appear to link the Shiraz attack, one of the country’s deadliest in years, to the protests and “riots” that followed Amini’s death.
“The intention of the enemy is to disrupt the progress of the country, then these riots prepare the ground for terrorist acts,” he said in televised remarks.
During Saturday’s funeral processions in Iran, crowds also chanted slogans condemning the United States, Israel and Britain for allegedly being “behind the riots”, according to live footage broadcast on state television.
Brandishing Shia symbols, the crowd marched through central Shiraz following a vehicle carrying the coffins of the victims draped in the Iranian flag.
The crowd can be heard chanting “Death to America, to Israel, to England” and “The vigilant revolutionary people hate the rioters”.
During the ceremony, the head of the Revolutionary Guards, the ideological arm of the Iranian army, urged “a limited number of young people deceived” by the enemies of the Islamic republic to end the “riots”.
“Today is the end of the riots”, warned Major General Hossein Salami, calling on the students “not to become chess pieces for the enemy”.
Students from several universities in Tehran and other Iranian cities demonstrated in the weeks following Amini’s death, some chanting anti-regime slogans.
“Stop going out in the street,” said the head of the Revolutionary Guards.
Salami meanwhile accused Saudi leaders of fueling the unrest and warned his royal family “and the media under their control to be careful”.
“You who provoke people and sow the seeds of sedition by showing images (of Iran), think a little about what could happen to you,” Salami added.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)