Muhammad Reza Bahner, a former deputy speaker of the Iranian parliament, acknowledged that had the regime not eliminated the November 2019 protests, it would have turned into a comprehensive revolution that could not be controlled.
In an interview with the Iranian Labor Agency “Ilna” on Monday, he expressed his satisfaction that some people did not join the demonstrators last November, saying, “They were only spectators, and the reason is their concern about insecurity.”
In addition, Bahner, who is currently the Secretary-General of the “Society of Islamic Engineers”, admitted that “the people’s demands that have not been met have turned into a powder keg and only lacks a spark to explode again,” as he put it.
A bloody crackdown
The former lawmaker did not explain how to put an end to the November protests, but Reuters reported on December 2 that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who was “confused” a few days after the start of the protests, gathered his top security and government officials, and ordered “to do everything.” It is required to terminate it. ”
And the matter led, according to what Reuters quoted at the time, informed sources, to “the bloodiest crackdown against demonstrators since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, when about 1,500 people were killed in less than two weeks.”
Among international human rights organizations, Amnesty International has documented the killing of 304, stressing that the actual number is much higher.
It is noteworthy that Iranian government officials have not yet provided an accurate report on the number of dead, wounded, or arrested, but Mojtaba Dhul-Nuri, head of Parliament’s National Security Committee, said last June that 230 people were killed during the protests, 178 of them among the demonstrators.
On June 30, Iran’s Interior Minister Abd al-Ridha Rahmani Fazli said that between 200 and 225 people were killed in November, but he did not specify the exact number.
The protests in November last year came in the wake of the government’s sudden decision to triple the price of gasoline, but it quickly turned into large-scale demonstrations calling for the fall of the regime.
In recent months, the Iranian judiciary has issued death sentences for many protesters and long-term prison terms for dozens of others.
Live ammunition in the heads of the protesters
It is noteworthy that the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, had indicated during a report he submitted in mid-October to the General Assembly at its seventy-fifth session on the human rights situation in Iran, that torture, violations, death sentences and imprisonment are continuing against the protest detainees that killed hundreds by bullets Security.
He also confirmed that the Iranian authorities directed live ammunition towards the heads of the demonstrators and passers-by, as at least 304 people were killed, including 23 children (22 boys and one girl) and 10 women, between 15 and 19 November 2019, according to the statistics of the Commission for Human Rights.
He also expressed his concern about the fate of at least 7,000 detainees since the protests, including women who are in “Qarchak” prison in Tehran.