The foreign ministry of Iran announced on Monday that the country will reject a newly constituted independent U.N. probe into the country’s suppression of anti-government protests, as demonstrations showed no signs of slowing down.
According to ministry spokeswoman Nasser Kanaani, “Iran will not have collaboration with the political committee established by the U.N. Rights Council.”
The U.N. Rights Council decided to launch an investigation into Iran’s deadly crackdown on protestors on Thursday.
Volker Turk, the U.N. rights commissioner, had earlier demanded that Iran end its “disproportionate” use of force in quashing protests that erupted after the death in custody of 22-year old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini on Sept. 16.
Activist news agency HRANA said 450 protesters had been killed in more than two months of nationwide unrest as of Nov. 26, including 63 minors. It said 60 members of the security forces had been killed, and 18,173 protesters detained.
Challenging the Islamic Republic’s legitimacy, protesters from all walks of life have burned pictures of Khamenei and called for the downfall of Iran’s Shi’ite Muslim theocracy.
The protests have particularly focused on women’s rights – Amini was detained by morality police for attire deemed inappropriate under Iran’s Islamic dress code – but have also called for the fall of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The unrest has posed one of the boldest challenges to Iran’s clerical ruling elite since it came to power in the 1979 Islamic revolution, though authorities have crushed previous rounds of major protests.
Iran has blamed foreign foes and their agents for the unrest.
Iran has proof that Western nations were involved in protests that have swept the country, Kanaani said on Monday.
“We have specific information proving that the U.S., Western countries and some of the American allies have had a role in the protests,” he said, without giving details.
Iran has given no death toll for protesters, but a deputy foreign minister, Ali Bagheri Kani, has said that about 50 police had died and hundreds been injured in the unrest – the first official figure for deaths among security forces.
He did not say whether that figure also included deaths among other security forces such as the Revolutionary Guards.