Iran summoned the British ambassador for a second time since statewide protests erupted last month, Iranian media said on Wednesday, intensifying claims of Western interference in ongoing unrest started by the death of a woman in police custody.
Iran has accused its adversaries, including the United States, of engineering the upheaval, which represents the most significant threat to the Islamic Republic’s religious leadership in years.
Since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in the hands of morality police, who seized her in Tehran on September 13 for “inappropriate dress,” there have been demonstrations across Iran.
On Wednesday, social media videos showed high school students in Tehran removing their headscarves and screaming “death to (Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali) Khamenei.” The videos could not be independently verified by Reuters.
Even if analysts do not feel the administration is imminently in jeopardy, the fact that the authorities are employing lethal force to quell the disturbance indicates anxiety regarding the magnitude of the demonstrations.
Witnesses told Reuters that on Wednesday, riot police were heavily deployed in various locations, notably around colleges – the epicenter of protests.
“There are several security personnel surrounding Tehran University. I am terrified to even leave campus. Several police trucks are waiting outside to arrest students, “a Tehran student remarked.
The British envoy was called again on Tuesday in response to “interventionist statements” from the British foreign ministry, according to the semi-official news outlet Tasnim.