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Iran's Interior Ministry Claims No Responsibility For November Protests, Consequences

November 2019 Iranian protests claimed hundreds of lives. FILE PHOTO
November 2019 Iranian protests claimed hundreds of lives. FILE PHOTO

In a letter to Iran's parliament on Monday the Interior Ministry claimed that it has not been found responsible for the causes and consequences of the November protests against the tripling of the price of gasoline.

According to the portal of the Interior Ministry, the letter has been read to the lawmakers in the open session of the Parliament.

"Extensive investigations of the matter by relevant supervisory bodies and authorities have been concluded and the Ministry of Interior has not been found responsible for any faults in any of the reports," Seyed Salman Samani, Spokesman of the Interior Ministry, was quoted by the website of the Interior Ministry as saying.

Samani also demanded that outspoken lawmaker Ali Motahari prove his allegations of responsibility against the Interior Ministry or face a legal lawsuit for making false allegations.

A triple price rise for gasoline on November 15 sparked massive protests across Iran that lasted for five days during which anti-riot police and other security forces used lethal force including live ammunition to suppress the protesters.

A few weeks after the protests Ali Motahari tried to impeach the Interior Minister as the main culprit in the events that followed the announcement of the price hike. The motion to impeach the minister was not accepted by the Parliament's Presidium and later Motahari alleged that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who opposed the impeachment of the minister had influenced the Parliament's decision to drop it.

Hundreds of protesters were killed and thousands were arrested during the protests but the Iranian regime claims that the victims were killed by suspicious elements among the protesters and it had to use lethal force only when the protesters damaged public property and threatened the safety and lives of other people.

A Reuters report published on December 23 said sources in Iran had confirmed that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had issued the order "to do whatever it takes" to stop the protesters. According to the same report the death toll of the protests – which the Iranian authorities have never revealed – was as high as 1,500.