Iran arrested the daughter of ex-President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Tuesday for inciting protests, according to the Tasnim news agency, amid a wave of protests over the death of a young woman.
“A security agency has arrested Faezeh Hashemi in the east of Tehran for inciting rioters to street protests,” Tasnim reported, without elaborating.
On Tuesday, Iranians protested for the 12th night in a row over the death of Mahsa Amini, 22.
The Kurdish woman died in the custody of Iran’s notorious morality police after being arrested for allegedly violating the country’s strict rules on hijab headscarves and modest clothing. Hashemi, a former lawmaker, and women’s rights activist has run into trouble with the law before in the Islamic republic.
According to the judiciary, she was charged in July with carrying out propaganda against the country and blasphemy in social media comments. According to media reports at the time, Hashemi stated that Iran’s demand that the Revolutionary Guards be removed from a US terror list was “damaging” to the country’s “national interests.”
Hashemi also made separate remarks about Khadija, the Prophet Mohammed’s wife. She was said to have referred to Khadija as a “businesswoman,” demonstrating that women can engage in economic activity and whose money the prophet spent.
She later stated that her remarks were a “joke… with no intention of causing insult,” according to state news agency IRNA. Hashemi’s late father was a centrist who advocated for better relations with the West and the United States.
She was sentenced to six months in prison in 2012 on charges of “propaganda against the Islamic republic.”
The late Shah’s son has praised Iran’s “revolution for and by women” The late Shah’s son hailed Iran’s mass protests as a historic women’s revolution and urged the international community to increase pressure on the clerical leadership.
Reza Pahlavi, whose father was deposed in the 1979 Islamic Revolution, has called for greater preparation for a secular and democratic Iranian system in the future. “It is truly, in my opinion, the first revolution for women, by women – with the support of Iranian men, sons, brothers, and fathers,” Pahlavi, who lives in exile in the Washington area, told AFP.
“It’s gotten to the point where, as the Spaniards say, basta — we’ve had enough.”
Since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died on September 16 in the custody of Iran’s notorious morality police, allegedly for violating the strict requirement that women wear headscarves in public, protests have swarmed major cities, with dozens killed.
While condemning discrimination against minorities and the LGBTQ community, Pahlavi stated, “Women are the symbolism of today’s repression.”
“I think most Iranian women, when they look at the freedoms that women in the free world have and exercise,” he said, “ask for the same rights for themselves.”
In 1936, Reza Shah, his grandfather, banned all Islamic veils as part of a Westernization drive inspired by neighboring Turkey.
The veil was optional under the previous shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, but that ended when the Islamic republic imposed requirements for women’s “modesty” in public. Pahlavi, the father of three daughters, believes that Iranian society has progressed far beyond the days of “male chauvinism,” and that women’s choices should be respected.
“Women can choose whether or not to wear the veil. However, it should be a free choice, not imposed for ideological or religious reasons,” he stated.
– Separation of church and state
While Pahlavi is respected in much of the exile community, he has stated that he is not seeking to restore the monarchy, an idea that has limited support within Iran.
Pahlavi supports a constituent assembly to write a new constitution in collaboration with the international opposition.
“There can be no true democratic order without a clear definition and separation of church and state,” Pahlavi said.
Despite opposition and hostility from the West, particularly the United States, the Islamic republic has survived for more than four decades. However, Pahlavi insisted that the system could collapse at any time and that the world needed to be prepared.
“We must consider the very real possibility that this regime will not last long,” he said. “I’ve been saying for a while that it could happen in a few weeks or a few months, and we need to plan for the worst-case scenario.”
According to Pahlavi, there should be a “controlled implosion” followed by a peaceful transition. He lauded many of the strong international reactions to the protests, including those from Germany and Canada.
He did, however, call for more action, such as the expulsion of diplomats and the freezing of assets. “It is necessary for more than just moral support. These are the kinds of measures that have a big impact,” he stated.
He reiterated his call for a strike fund to compensate workers, hoping that the nationwide protests would lead to a general strike. While supporting diplomacy, Pahlavi expressed reservations about the US returning to the 2015 nuclear deal, which would allow Iran to sell oil openly on global markets.
Western powers frequently believe they can “create an incentive for the regime to change its behavior so that we can drag them back to be good boys and behave,” according to Pahlavi. However, he claims that the Islamic republic is founded on ideology exportation.
“With this regime, there can be no coexistence.”
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