The head of the Iranian Seminary, Alireza Arafi, had vowed “death” to any protester transgressing against clerics in Iran at a time when the death toll of demonstrations that have rocked the cleric-led nation since Sept. 17 has risen to 336, according to human rights groups.
“Those who attack the turbans of the clergy should know that the turban will become their shroud,” said Arafi, according to the official media mouthpiece of Iran’s Seminary.
“Haters of the system must know that we will preserve it until our last breath,” added Arafi.
As the authorities have waged a deadly crackdown on the rallies, some demonstrators have turned to new tactics to sustain the protests, including tipping off clerics’ turbans in the streets.
Iranian security forces have killed at least 326 people since nationwide protests erupted two months ago, the Norway-based Iran Human Rights NGO (IHRNGO) group has claimed.
Since the start of the protests, deaths have been recorded across 22 provinces, according to the IHRNGO. Most were reported in Sistan and Baluchistan, Tehran, Mazandaran, Kurdistan, and Gilan provinces.
At the start of the ninth week of public unrest, Iranian protesters called for a memorial for the victims of the November 2019 protests, in which 1,500 people were killed.
In other news, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Saturday that he favors a new round of European Union sanctions on Iran next week.
“We want to continue to step up the pressure on the Revolutionary Guard Corps and the political leadership,” he said in a video posted on Twitter.
Scholz’s statement follows Germany and Iceland urging the UN to convene a special session of the Human Rights Council on the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran, especially with regard to women and children.