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Iran Lawmakers Blast Government For Killing Protesters, Demand Punishment Of Culprits

No images show any armed protesters during November unrest in Iran. Amnesty International says at least 304 protesters were killed by the government.

Three reformist lawmakers on Tuesday harshly criticized top offcials of the country including the President and the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council for “shedding the blood of the youth” and calling the protests “enemy conspiracies”.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei himself has also called the November protests “a security [attack] rather than popular protests”, and claimed that quelling the widespread unrest that in November “forcing the enemy to retreat”.

In an interview with Mostaghel Online Gholamreza Heidari, a reformist lawmaker from Tehran, criticized the authorities for issuing the order to shoot at protesters directly and “killing innocent people”. If they were not innocent the Supreme Leader would not have ordered the authorities to “pay blood money” to the families of the individuals killed in the protests, he said.

Heidari also lashed out at President Hassan Rouhani and said by implementing the plan to increase the price of gasoline he “burnt himself out and dealt a heavy blow at the social capital of the Islamic Republic.”

“Sadly, the blood of the country’s youth was shed because of imprudence,” Ghasem Mirzai-Nikoo, another reformist lawmaker, said in a speech on the Majles floor on Sunday and asked: “What is going to grow from their blood, poppies or hate?”

Mahmoud Sadeghi, the outspoken lawmaker from Tehran who has made many piercing remarks about the authorities’ responsibility for the killing of the protesters once again addressed the parliament on Tuesday.

In his fiery speech Sadeghi harshly criticized the authorities for calling the protesters “agents of foreign countries” and for “claiming victory” over them as if they were the enemy.

“Some authorities claim these bitter events were an opportunity for neutralizing the plans of the enemies and beat on the victory drums,” he said and demanded that President Rouhani make a public apology to the nation.

Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani claimed on December 12 that more than 85 percent of those killed in the protests in the towns and townships in Tehran Province had not been participated in any protests and were shot not by the government but unknown people.

Referring to Shamkhani's claim Sadeghi said: “Can we account for the unjust shedding of the blood of the innocent by claiming that 85 percent of those killed did not take part in the protests and were killed by firearms other than the kind used by the authorities?”

Shamkhani paid visits to the families of some of the protesters who had been shot dead in the townships near Tehran when the protests ended. The visits were filmed and broadcast on the state television which called them “informal and cordial”.

Other Iranian officials including the IRGC Deputy Commander Ali Fadavi have claimed that protesters shot each other. None of the videos aired by the state-run media or foreign-based satellite television channels show any armed protesters.

Some officials such as Brigadier General Salar Abnoush, a Basij paramilitary commander, have even likened the encounter between the protesters and armed security forces to a “full-scale world war” and ending the protests a "miracle".

Some other officials such as the Parliament Presidium member Amir Hossein Qazizadeh-Hashemi have gone one step further and claimed that armed protesters shot the security forces.

Also referring to Shamkhani’s remarks, Ghasem Mirzai-Nikoo has demanded that the “murderers” of the protesters be put on trial and punished.

The Iranian authorities have so far refused to announce the death toll, despite occasional promises, and have been playing blame games among themselves shunning responsibility.

Amnesty International on December 16 rose the confirmed death toll of the protests to at least 304 and said thousands were detained who were held incommunicado and were subjected to “enforced disappearance, torture and ill-treatment”.