Iran seeks Russia's help to suppress protests
Protests continue in Iran (Photo:REUTERS / Ivan Alvarado)
Iran has asked Russia to provide special equipment and personnel training for suppression of mass protests, Iranian opposition London-based TV channel, Iran International, reported on Dec. 3.
As the channel discovered, the Iranian regime has asked Moscow to send advisors to help handle long-term protests in the country, due to Iran's limits with manpower and equipment.
Iran International referred to secret files obtained and sent to the journalists by hackers, which reportedly demonstrate Iranian usage of Russian data of intercepted Western communications, to assess the nature and the strength of the protest movement.
The White House has also claimed that Moscow has provided advice to Tehran on how to suppress rallies "optimally."
At the time, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that Moscow may be helping Iran to supress mass protests, relying on its wide experience on this matter.
"The evidence that Iran is helping Russia rage its war against Ukraine is clear and it is public,” Jean-Pierre said during a joint press briefing with a National Security Council member, John Kirby.
“Iran and Russia are growing closer the more isolated they become. Our message to Iran is very, very clear: Stop killing your people and stop sending weapons to Russia to kill Ukrainians."
Kirby said the White House is also adhering to the point of view that Russia helped Iran to restrain the protests. It's stressed it was a matter of fact, not assumption.
"We know they may be considering some sort of support to Iran’s ability to crack down on protesters,” Kirby explained.
“And sadly, Russia has experience at doing that.”
Kirby called this cooperation "just yet another example of Russia and Iran now working together to violate the — not only the human rights and civil rights of people in Iran but, of course, put in further danger the lives of Ukrainians."
Iran International reported that Black Reward, the hacktivist group that allegedly obtained the Iranian files, also possessed an audio file that revealed the concerns of Iranian officials in regard to their security forces. They are reportedly worn-out in constant attempts to suppress the protest rallies.
In September 2022, widespread protests broke out in Iran after Iranian police beat 22-year-old Mahsa Amini to death. Demonstrations started across the country, with Iranian citizens protesting the Iranian ‘morality’ police, as well as a lack of political freedoms in the country.
In the two months of the ongoing protests, about 18,000 people have been detained. Some of them have been sentenced to death, though no executions are publicly known to have taken place. According to some estimations, 469 protesters and 61 security officials have died in the course of the protests.
Western countries have condemned Iran’s heavy-handed repression of protests, and have called for additional sanctions against the Iranian regime. Previous actions have been imposed on Iran for supplying Russia with drones in the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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