Iran dismissed President Biden as a “tired” politician and condemned U.S. “interference” in Iran’s brutal crackdown on human rights protesters Sunday.
Biden addressed the month-long unrest in Iran on Friday, saying he was “stunned” at how aggressively the Iranian people have risen up against the country’s Islamist regime. Iranian foreign affairs spokesman Nasser Kanani condemned Biden’s statement as “interference” on Sunday.
“Iran is too strong for its will to be swayed by the interference … by a politician tired of years of failure,” Kanani wrote on social media. “We will together defend the independence of Iran.”
Biden’s comments on Iran’s protest came during an appearance at a college in Irvine, California.
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“I want you to know that we stand with the citizens, the brave women of Iran,” he told a group of demonstrators holding signs about the issue. “It stunned me what it awakened in Iran. It awakened something that I don’t think will be quieted for a long, long time.”
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Biden’s Treasury Department announced sanctions against Iran’s Morality Police as well as some top-level government officials in late September.
Protests first erupted in the country after the police killing of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested for incorrectly wearing a hijab. The Morality Police released her in a coma with severe injuries, claiming she had fallen down while in custody. She died in the hospital days later on Sept. 16.
Also a source of outrage is the alleged killing of 17-year-old Nika Shakamari. Iranian police followed her away from a protest where she set fire to her hijab. She was then killed, and authorities claim she fell off of a roof. Family members say her injuries were not consistent with that story, however.
Iranian authorities sought to conceal news of Shakamari’s death for nine days. Police ultimately removed her body from a morgue and buried in a rural area against her family’s wishes.
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Watchdog groups say hundreds of people have been killed in the protests, including some regime enforcers. Iranian authorities have cut off internet access for much of the country, however, making it difficult to verify casualty numbers.