Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Wednesday said that the death of a young woman in custody had "saddened" everyone in Iran, but warned that "chaos" would not be accepted amid spreading violent protests over Mahsa Amini's death.
Amini's death two weeks ago has sparked anti-government protests across Iran, with protesters often calling for the end of the Islamic clerical establishment's more than four decades in power.
"We all are saddened by this tragic incident ... (However)Chaos is unacceptable," Raisi said in an interview with state TV, while protests continued around the country.
"The government's red line is our people's security ... One cannot allow people to disturb the peace of society through riots,” Reuters quoted him as saying.
Despite a growing death toll and a fierce crackdown by security forces using tear gas, clubs, and in some cases, live ammunition, social media videos showed Iranians persisting with protests, chanting "Death to the dictator".
Angry demonstrations have spread to over 80 cities nationwide since the Sept. 13 death of 22-year-old Amini, after she was arrested for "unsuitable attire" by the morality police.
Amini, who was from the northwestern Kurdish city of Saqez, died in hospital after falling into a coma.
Raisi, who had ordered an investigation into Amini's death, said "forensics will present report on her death in the coming days".