As a wave of unrest inside Iran spread across borders, Tehran’s regime faced growing international isolation.
In Afghanistan, Taliban forces fired shots into the air to disperse a women’s rally in front of the Iranian embassy in Kabul in support of the protests in Iran.
Demonstrators carried banners that read: “Iran has risen, now it’s our turn” and “From Kabul to Iran, say no to dictatorship,” and chanted the “Women, life, freedom” mantra used in Iran. Taliban forces snatched the banners and tore them in front of the protesters.
One of the protest organizers said it was staged “to show our support and solidarity with the people of Iran and the women victims of the Taliban in Afghanistan.”
In Norway, two people were injured and 90 were arrested in clashes at a demonstration in front of the Iranian embassy in Oslo. Several dozen protesters, some draped in the Kurdish flag, tried to break into the embassy compound.
The demonstration came a day after Iran launched missile and drone strikes that killed 13 people in Iraqi Kurdistan. Tehran accuses Kurdish dissidents there of fueling two weeks of protests in Iran, which began when 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini died in morality police custody.
Amini had been on a visit to Tehran with her family when she was arrested and accused of wearing her hijab with “insufficient modesty.”
At least 76 people have been killed in Iran’s violent crackdown on the protests, with security forces using tear gas, batons, birdshot and live ammunition.
Germany’s foreign minister on Thursday urged the EU to impose further sanctions on Iran because of its treatment of protesters.
“The Iranian authorities must immediately end their brutal treatment of demonstrators,” Annalena Baerbock told the German parliament.
She said she would do everything within the EU framework to impose sanctions against those responsible for oppressing women in Iran.
France’s Foreign Ministry has said it would back sanctions as a response to “new massive abuses on women’s rights and human rights in Iran.”
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the bloc would “consider all the options at its disposal … to address the killing of Mahsa Amini and the way Iranian security forces have responded to the ensuing demonstrations.”
Inside Iran, the regime warned prominent sports and entertainment figures against any further support of the protests. “We will take action against the celebrities who have fanned the flames of the riots,” Tehran provincial governor Mohsen Mansouri said.
Former TV host Mahmoud Shahriari has already been arrested for “encouraging riots and solidarity with the enemy,” and Oscar-winning film director Asghar Farhadi urged people to “stand in solidarity” with the protesters.
“They are looking for simple yet fundamental rights that the state has denied them,” he said.