Iran fires at students as Mahsa Amini protests continue to escalate

The Iranian commander was identified as Ali Mousavi, chief of the intelligence unit in Sistan-Baluchestan.

 A man gestures during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's "morality police", in Tehran, Iran September 19, 2022.  (photo credit: WANA VIA REUTERS)
A man gestures during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's "morality police", in Tehran, Iran September 19, 2022.
(photo credit: WANA VIA REUTERS)

Iran intensified its crackdown on nationwide protests against the death of Mahsa Amini, firing directly at protesting students in universities across the country on Saturday.

Students in Mashhad, Tehran, Isfahan, Zanjin and Tabriz, among other locations, protested against the Iranian government. In Tehran, protesters were reportedly arrested and taken away in ambulances. Multiple reports in recent weeks have claimed that Iranian forces were using ambulances to carry security forces and detainees so that protesters wouldn't attack them.

Security forces were seen in footage shared on social media firing directly at crowds of protesters, including students.

Large crowds of protesters marched on streets throughout the country, including in Tehran, Bandar Abbas, Mashhad, Isfahan, Arak, Babol and Shahin Shahr, chanting slogans against the regime such as "death to Khamenei" and "Women, life, freedom." Footage from multiple locations showed women taking off their hijabs, with some protesters burning the headscarves.

People light a fire during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's ''morality police'', in Tehran, Iran, September 21, 2022. (credit: WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)People light a fire during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's ''morality police'', in Tehran, Iran, September 21, 2022. (credit: WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)

Demonstrations continued into the night, with footage showing protests ongoing throughout Iran.

In one video shared from a market in Tehran, protesters could be seen chanting "If we don't stand together, we will be killed one by one."

Businesses across Iran also closed in a large labor strike in support of the protesters.

Video shared on social media by the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights claimed to show protesters taking down Iranian flags in Dehgolan in the Kurdistan Province of Iran. Reports in recent days have claimed that protesters have managed to take control of multiple cities in the Kurdistan region from Iranian security forces.

Clashes continue in southeastern Iran

On Friday, large clashes broke out between Sunni protesters and Iranian security forces in Zahedan in southeastern Iran after the Iranian forces fired on worshippers during Friday prayers.

Multiple members of the paramilitary Basij forces and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) were killed in the clashes, with Iranian state media claiming "separatist forces" had attacked an Iranian base in the area.

The clashes continued on Saturday, with gunfire and explosions reported in Zahedan as IRGC helicopters flew overhead.

Additionally on Friday, students and teachers at seminaries in Qom, Mashhad and Tehran reportedly published a statement saying Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei should be removed from leadership and referring to him as "taghut" (a term used to refer to idolatry or evil).

Jaish ul-Adl, a Salafi jihadist militant organization, stated on Saturday that it had not taken part in the clashes in Zahedan, but would start acting against the Iranian government in light of the clashes on Friday.

Protesters gather in support of Iranian demonstrations across the world

Protesters also gathered in cities across the world to express support for the protests in Iran, including in Canada, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Austria, the UK and the US, among others.