NPR’s Sarah Naomi Leukowitz
Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdrahian said he was telling Western diplomats that his country’s protests would not destabilize Iran.
The death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody in mid-September has sparked protests in dozens of Iranian cities in recent days. Tehran’s morality police, which roam the streets in a strict dress code in line with the government’s Islamic views, detained Martha Amini earlier this month on suspicion of violating the dress code. Her family disputes this claim, but what is incontrovertible is that Amini died a few days after being taken into custody.
Her death was a shock, with protests spreading across dozens of Iranian cities and garnering global attention through social media despite severe internet restrictions. Some demonstrators chanted “death to the dictator”, a slogan against Iran’s clerical rule, and wore scarves, a requirement for women since the 1979 revolution that imposed Islamic law on the country. Some women even took them off or burned them.
in an interview with morning paperNew York City’s Steve Inskeep said Amira Bdrahian acknowledged the tragedy of Amini’s death, but downplayed the importance of nationwide protests as such incidents occur all over the world. said it does.
“I assure you that nothing much is happening in Iran,” he said of the message to the West. “There will be no regime change in Iran. Do not play with the feelings of the Iranian people.”
AFP (via Getty Images)
The foreign minister said Amini’s death was being “seriously investigated”, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said. — Who among the high-ranking officials promised a full investigation? — I called Amini’s family. At the same time, Amira Bdrahian accused many of the protests of being the product of foreign media and outside agitation, but they appear to be widespread within his country.
Security officials have tried to quell the riots by restricting internet access and by beating, arresting and even killing protesters. But broader grievances, ranging from the devastation of the economy to the alienation between the Iranian government and many young people, keep the demonstrations going.
Amiravdrahian is a veteran Iranian diplomat who has been involved in lengthy negotiations over the country’s nuclear program. The United States is seeking to return to pacts with world powers that have limited Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Those negotiations, which appeared to be nearing completion this year, appear to have stalled.
One challenge appears to be that Iran wants some assurance that the new deal will last beyond the Biden administration. President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal, and future presidents could do the same. NPR also asked him about it.
“The US side has taken certain steps to give us assurances,” he said. “We just need to make these guarantees a little more complete.”
Below is a summary of NPR’s questions and responses via interpreters from the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Do you believe that protesters have valid reasons for concern and frustration?
“Iranians are an emotional people, they have genuine feelings, they protested peacefully in the early hours after the incident, and now everyone is waiting for the judicial system’s investigation to end. …but meanwhile, external elements such as satellite channels and some websites were encouraging people inside Iran to pour into the streets and become violent, which turned the demonstrations into violence and riots. It’s the reason.”
Having visited Iran in the past and interviewed hundreds of Iranians, I find it hard to believe that this is entirely externally fueled. I heard many people express their dissatisfaction with the government and government regulations. Don’t you think these protests are by the Iranian people, or at least some of them?
“Of course there are protesters, and they are expressing their demands in a peaceful way. I have.”
UN officials have accused Iran of using excessive force in some cases to quell protests. what do you say to that?
“As you know, in peace they are free. There is no use of force. has no choice but to do so.”
It should be noted that private companies removed the former president from Twitter, but he was still able to speak freely through many other channels. He’s also been interviewed by NPR this year. He can still speak freely. Anyway, let’s talk about the Internet. Because the story of the Internet came out. Why has the Internet been restricted in Iran in recent days?
“We have a duty to provide peace and tranquility to our people.”
The US State Department said it would prioritize licensing efforts that could promote internet freedom in Iran. Do you think you can continue to control Iran’s internet in the long run?
“If the United States really, really cares about the Iranian people, it could pay attention to the fact that thousands of Iranian children are dying because of the sanctions imposed by Iran… people. Instead of worrying about their access to free internet, they should worry about ‘they’re dying every day because of sanctions. “
Let’s talk about nuclear talks. I know this is an issue that you personally have been dealing with for many years. Only a few weeks ago, the two countries were thought to be very close to agreeing to rejoin the US nuclear deal, but something was believed to have made that less likely. What went wrong?
“Overall, we have had relatively successful and good negotiations. We have been involved in many exchanges of messages with the United States. We have come a long way. So where are we now? There are some questions left, but they are very important and important.”
From Iran’s perspective, is it essential to provide some assurance that the US will never withdraw from the deal?
“The issue of guarantees is very important to us… So the American side has taken some steps to give us guarantees. We just need to make these guarantees a little more complete. “
Audio interviews were produced by Chad Campbell and Vince Pearson and edited by Larry Kaprow and Arezou Rezvani. Rachel Triisman adapted this story for the web.