Iran blames the West for inciting violence at Mahsa Amini protests
North America;U.S.

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi says Western governments and media are trying to "destroy" the country by provoking violence and destruction.

Violent protests and demonstrations have broken out across many towns and cities in the Islamic Republic since the death of Mahsa Amini who died a week ago after being arrested by 'morality police' for "unsuitable attire."

In an exclusive CGTN interview in New York, Raisi said Iran had "freedom of expression," but the unrest was being encouraged from forces outside the country.

"We have respect for the right to protest. It is not a problem," he said speaking during his visit to the U.S. to attend the UN General Assembly. 

Protests and demonstrations have occurred across Iran./ Wana News Agency/Reuters

Protests and demonstrations have occurred across Iran./ Wana News Agency/Reuters

"That is not an issue. However, what is occurring today is the provocation by Western countries through their media outlets, and invites people to violence. They want to ride the wave of momentary discontent and they are making their presence known in order to provoke the population towards the elimination of the Islamic Republic of Iran. 

"This would be unacceptable for any government or any administration or any system of governance. And burning the property of people, burning businesses and threatening the lives of people. 

"Now, these are no longer demonstrations. Demonstrations seeking their natural rights are a god given right? Absolutely. We have freedom of the press. We have freedom of expression in Iran. It's not a problem. 

"However, when the Americans provoke these folks to violence and looting and destruction and their media outlets are quite excited to promote bloodshed and killing. This is an attempt to destroy a country and no one will stand for it."

Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, died in hospital on September 16 after spending three days in a coma. Iran's police have denied she was mistreated, saying she suffered "sudden heart failure," while her family claim she was fit and healthy.

Addressing the UN General Assembly, U.S. President Joe Biden said Americans stood with "the brave women of Iran who right now are demonstrating to secure their basic rights," while the Acting U.N. Commissioner for Human Rights has called for an impartial probe.

Iran's President told CGTN that a "full and transparent" investigation would take place into Amini's death, while accusing the West of "double standards" over human rights.

"We do feel responsible towards the life of human beings, towards the rights of human beings, and we will certainly pursue that, whether people like it or not," Raisi added.


"However, the question exists why is it that today [the West] are screaming much louder because they are applying double standards? Some places they do care about human rights. In others they don't. With this young lady, yes. They scream human rights. But what about those thousand people in the United States? 

"What about those 80-odd individual lives lost in Great Britain? What about the multiple repetitions of abuse of human rights? What is occurring in occupied Palestine under the full support of the West and the U.S.? What about that? What is taking place today in Afghanistan? 

"For two decades the Americans were present in Afghanistan and accomplished nothing but bloodshed and killing of women and children and destruction. 35,000 children were left disabled. [Apparently] These are not human rights issues. They deserve no investigation. No one needs to ask them [about] that. 

"Did they bring anything else to Afghanistan? No, but these are certainly part of human rights. Are they considered as such? Apparently not." 

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