A member of Iran’s parliament has said in an Interview on Tuesday that Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli’s unscrupulous confession that protesters were shot in the head and “some were shot in the leg too” during the November protests, was shocking to lawmakers.
In the interview with Emtedad website on Monday Mahmoud Sadeghi said that the shockingly nonchalant remark was made last week at a parliamentary committee meeting in response to a lawmaker from Karaj who said two protesters in his constituency had been shot in the head.
According to Sadeghi the lawmaker asked Interior Minister if it had not been possible to shoot the protesters in the leg [if they had to be shot at for any reason] instead of in the head. The Interior Minister nonchalantly replied “Well, some were shot in the leg too”.
“Lawmakers were astonished by the minister’s response,” Sadeghi said. “Can a response like this be a convincing explanation? They say they managed to contain the unrest in 48 hours. My question is whether managing the situation by using firearms to this extent and leaving so many dead is anything to brag about,” he added.
The protests broke out on November 15 after the government announced a sudden hike in gasoline prices. People immediately reacted by holding protests. Evidence that has since emerged shows the bloody response of security forces began at the same time, as they started shooting at unarmed protesters.
The reformist lawmaker who has made many controversial remarks in the wake of the protests that led to the death of at least 304 protesters said in the interview: “Managing means first of all to allow people to speak, particularly when they are protesting to a very startling decision that was taken without any expert investigation”.
In another part of the interview Sadeghi stressed he is still adamant that the authorities must announce the death toll of the protests. “We have made a motion to form a special committee [to investigate the death toll]. Even if the authorities have decided not to make a public announcement, they will have to announce it to the people’s representatives in this special committee,” Sadeghi was quoted as saying.
Mahmoud Sadeghi is one of the lawmakers who have tabled a motion to impeach the Interior Minister as the main authority responsible for the implemention of the decision to ration gasoline and increase its price in November which led to protests throughout the country.
Earlier, another outspoken lawmaker, Ali Motahari, had said that the impeachment of the Interior Minister would go ahead “if there is no objection by the Leader”, meaning Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.