On Saturday, President Ebrahim Raisi praised the Islamic Republic of Iran as a defender of freedoms and rights while defending the current political order amid a crackdown on anti-government demonstrations that the UN estimates has claimed more than 300 lives.
While this was going on, a leading state security organization reported that 200 people, including security force members, had died in the unrest—a much lower number than that reported by the international organization and rights organizations.
More than 300 people, including more than 40 children, have died in the protests, according to Javaid Rehman, a U.N.-appointed independent expert on Iran.
According to the rights organization HRANA, 469 protestors had been slain as of Friday, including 64 juveniles. It said 61 members of the government’s security forces had also died. Up to 18,210 demonstrators are thought to have been detained.
Molavi Abdolhamid, a well-known Baluch Sunni Muslim imam, has called for a stop to the arresting and killing protestors as well as a referendum on altering Iran’s political structure.
He stated in late November that “the people’s protest has proven that the policies of the last 43 years have reached a dead end.”