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Iran's Revolutionary Guards Issue Protest Ultimatum....And Iran's Students Ignore It.
On Saturday the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Hossein Salami, declared an end to riots and street protests. Further such activity was immediately banned.
Weeks of protest in Iran entered a more violent phase on Sunday as students defied an ultimatum by the Revolutionary Guards and were met with tear gas, beatings and gunfire from riot police and militia, social media videos showed.
The confrontations at dozens of universities prompted a threat of a tougher crackdown in the seventh week of demonstrations since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died after she was arrested by the morality police for attire deemed inappropriate.
Escalating violence by the Revolutionary Guards and their allied force the Basij Militia so far has not dampened Iranian’s enthusiasm for protest.
The top commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards told protesters that Saturday would be their last day of taking to the streets, the harshest warning yet by Iranian authorities.
Nevertheless, videos on social media, unverifiable by Reuters, showed confrontations between students and riot police and Basij forces on Sunday at universities all over Iran.
One video showed a member of Basij forces firing a gun at close range at students protesting at a branch of Azad University in Tehran. Gunshots were also heard in a video shared by rights group HENGAW from protests at the University of Kurdistan in Sanandaj.
Videos from universities in some other cities also showed Basij forces opening fire at students.
Across the country, security forces tried to block students inside university buildings, firing tear gas and beating protesters with sticks. The students, who appeared to be unarmed, pushed back, with some chanting "dishonoured Basij get lost" and "Death to Khamenei".
With some 283 deaths attributed to government violence in the wake of the protests, one has to wonder how much more escalation by government forces is even possible. They’ve already used live ammunition on the protesters, they’ve already used teargas.
How much further an escalation is even plausible at this point?
If the Revolutionary Guards fail to get control over street protests in Tehran and elsewhere, the ultimate impotency of the regime will at last be revealed for all to see.
Iranians appear to have decided that the evils of the Islamic Republic are no longer sufferable. If this is truly the case, regime change is imminent.
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