- by theguardian
- 30 Nov 2022
Canada meanwhile announced a fourth round of sanctions against senior Iranian officials and its law enforcement agents, which Canada accuses of participating in the suppression and arrest of unarmed protesters.
For the first time Iran has acknowledged there was a danger that it might find itself excluded from the World Cup, a move that would be a devastating blow to a country that adores football. The Iranian president, Ibrahim Raisi, said he would be contacting Qatar, the hosts of the tournament.
The latest signs of external support for the Iranian protests led by women and students came as sit-ins continued in universities and more than 500 civilian journalists put their names to an internal petition demanding that reporters who helped break the story of Mahsa Amini be released from detention.
Security services have unleashed a fierce crackdown on the mainly peaceful protests, in which at least 253 people have been killed, including 34 Iranians under 18, according to one human rights organisation. Several thousand people have been arrested, many of whom were taken to special IRGC detention centres.The Iranian elite nevertheless remains divided between those who want to treat the protests solely as the product of a well-laid foreign conspiracy best brought to a halt by repression, and those who say the disturbances, now in their sixth week, reveal deep problems in Iranian society, including an untrusted and muzzled official media that leaves young Iranians dependent on western satellite channels.
The former foreign minister Javad Zarif appeared to side with those calling for talks, saying opponents of dialogue, regardless of their disguise or slogan, seemed to prefer violence.