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Iran Lawmaker Accuses Minister Of Having Blood On His Hands

An Iranian lawmaker who had accused the interior minister of being responsible for the killing of hundreds of people during the 2019 protests in Iran has said he is “happy to be prosecuted” because it would be an opportunity to reveal to the people the truth about these events.

Ahmad Alireza Beigi on Wednesday announced in an open parliamentary session that “the hands of the interior minister are drenched with the blood of the people”. Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli was in charge of handling fuel price rises in mid-November 2019 when nationwide protests broke out, quickly turning to anti-government unrest.

Security forces were ordered to fire on protesters and hundreds were killed. Estimates range from 300-1,500 deaths. The government has not issued a report about casualties and detainees. The interior minister was in charge of preventing the protests and he was at least partly blamed for the bloodshed.

Beigi in parliament demanded impeachment for the interior minister. The ministry immediately announced it is suing the lawmaker. Rahmani Fazli’s representative in parliament, Mohammad Javad Kulivand tried to defend the minister by saying that the 2019 events had been reviewed and discussed by the parliament and the Islamic Republic’s top leadership, implying that the minister was not found guilty of wrongdoing.

But the top leadership appeared united in its decision to use lethal force against the protesters whom the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei labeled as “hooligans” and would not accuse any top official of being responsible for the deaths.

In the previous parliament another lawmaker, Ali Motahari also tried to impeach Rahmani Fazli. His attempt fizzled out and he later said Khamenei had opposed the move for political reasons.

Last November another former member of parliament Mahmoud Sadeghi revealed that Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, had told him in the immediate aftermath of the protests that “without an exception we will shoot all of them”. The Council threatened to sue Sadeghi.

Another lawmaker claimed that Rahmani Fazli, when responding to his concern about killing protesters at point blank range, had responded, “We also shoot some of them in the legs”.

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