The following is a collection of research and translations from the MEMRI Reform Project following the 2022 protests in Iran. Producing such content is very costly, and your help allows us to continue our vital work of supporting counterterrorism efforts in the U.S. and throughout the West. We are very grateful to those of our valued readers who have already donated this year, and ask those who have not yet done so to please consider making a tax-deductible donation now.
The following are selected MEMRI TV clips from the MEMRI Reform Project following the 2022 protests in Iran.
#9978 – In Zahedan, Iran Friday Sermon, Sunni Spiritual Leader Molavi Abdolhamid Demands Accountability For Victims Killed During Crackdown On Protesters, Adds: Where Criticism Is Prevented, Tyranny Is Created; Truth Must Always Be Followed, Even When Uttered By Americans And Israelis
Molavi Abdolhamid Ismaeelzahi, the spiritual leader of Iran's Sunnis, said in a Friday, December 2, 2022 sermon in Zahedan, the capital of the Sunni-majority Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchestan, that the Iranian regime should be held accountable for killing Sunni anti-regime protestors. He urged the regime to "sit down" with the protesters and reach "middle ground," adding: "Where criticism is prevented, tyranny is created." He said that prisoners and detainees should be treated in an "Islamic way" and not like people who fight Allah or sow corruption. He also said that truth must be followed even if it is uttered by enemies such as the Americans or Israelis. He elaborated that the Sunnis and other religious minorities have been discriminated against since the establishment of the Islamic Republic, even though they are all Iranians. The sermon was posted to Molavi Abdolhamid's YouTube account. For more about Molavi Abdolhamid, see MEMRI TV Clip No. 7879 and MEMRI Daily Brief No. 428.
#9857 – Iranian Political Activist Saeed Shariati On Iran TV: We Live In A Totalitarian Regime Like North Korea; Our Officials Must Reconsider Their Crackdown On Protestors; People Are Protesting Because They Have No Voice
Iranian political activist Saeed Shariati said in a September 20, 2022 show on Channel 4 (Iran) that Iran is a totalitarian regime and that its officials and security forces must reconsider their actions in the crackdown against the protesters following the death of Mahsa Amini (see MEMRI TV Clips No. 9837 and No. 9833). He compared Iran to North Korea and said that it is not a democracy because the people do not have the ability to vote the rulers out of power. In addition, he said that none of the 290 members of Iran's Majles represent him or the protesters who are being beaten in the streets. It is noteworthy that Jalil Mohebbi, who is a religious scholar and a member of the Scientific Board of the Majles Research Center, appeared on the show alongside Shariati.
#9843 – Iranian Majles Member and Fmr. Health Minister Masoud Pezeshkian Blames Regime for Mahsa Amini's Death: Our Behavior Is Making Iranians Hate Islam, We Must Reexamine Our Methods; You Cannot Implement Faith with Force
Iranian Majles member Masoud Pezeshkian, who has previously served as Iran's Minister of Health, said in a September 19, 2022 show on IRINN TV (Iran) that he is sorry over the recent death of Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian woman who recently died after being beaten and arrested by Iran's morality police for wearing her hijab "improperly." He said that Iran's laws are meant to make people more chaste and modest, but instead the Iranian regime should adopt different methods if its behavior is making Iranians hate Islam. He blamed himself, the Iranian government, the mosques, the religious scholars, and Iran's broadcasting authority for the current situation in Iran, and he argued that it is impossible to make people religious by force. Amini's death has sparked widespread protests in Iran (see MEMRI TV Clips No. 9833 and No. 9837).
This clip is a compilation of videos posted to various social media networks between November 13 and November 16, 2022 of protesters throughout Iran lighting fires in the streets and torching public buildings and posters of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Ghasem Soleimani. The protesters also chanted slogans such as "Death to Khamenei!" and "This is the year of bloody [uprising], Seyed Ali [Khamenei] will be toppled!"
#9955 – Iranian Human Rights Activist, Khamenei's Niece Farideh Moradkhani: Iranian People Are Fighting A Murderous, Child-Killing Regime; Anti-Iran Sanctions Are Ridiculous; Khomeini, Khamenei Are Like Hitler, Mussolini
Iranian human rights activist Farideh Moradkhani, who is the niece of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said on November 22, 2022 that now is a "historically sensitive time" and that people in Iran are fighting the regime's "Satanic forces of evil" with remarkable courage. She called on the world to support Iran's "lions and lionesses" and to help prevent foreign governments from supporting the "murderous, child-killing" Iranian regime. She said that the "laughable" sanctions imposed against Iran are only for going "through the motions" as multi-billion-dollar deals are made "behind the scenes," and she compared Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his predecessor Ruhollah Khomeini to Hitler, Mussolini, Qadhafi, and Saddam Hussein. She predicted that the Iranian people will topple the regime, and she called on all "freedom-seeking countries" to show solidarity by recalling their representatives in Iran and expelling Iranian diplomats. Moradkhani was arrested by Iranian authorities the day after she made these remarks (Note: She has also been arrested on previous occasions). The video in this clip was posted to the Iran CP12 YouTube channel on November 26, 2022.
This clip is a compilation of footage of Iranian authorities violently cracking down on anti-regime protestors throughout Iran. In the videos, authorities can be seen beating and using live weapons, including vehicle-mounted heavy machine guns, against protestors. Several protestors can also be seen dead or bleeding heavily in the streets. The footage in this clip was posted to various online sources, including the Twitter account of dissident Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad, between November 15 and November 21, 2022.
This clip is a compilation of videos, posted to various online sources between December 11 and December 13, 2022, of Iranians protesting the regime's recent executions of demonstrators. In one of the videos, a protestor confronts a Majles member at University of Qom and says: "Why do you execute our youth? [...] This is the last warning: If you execute, there will be an uprising!" The other videos show protests at Tabriz Medical School, at Alzahra University in Mashhad, and elsewhere.
#9935 – Iranian Sisters Samin And Behin Bolouri's Persian Version Of "Bella Ciao" Gains Immense Popularity Against The Backdrop Of Popular Protests In Iran: The Chains Of Oppression Will Be Broken By Our Hands!
This clip features two videos posted to Instagram by a Persian woman named Samin Bolouri. In the first video, posted on July 12, 2020, Samin and her sister Behin are seen wearing hijabs and singing a Persian version of an Italian protest song titled "Bella Ciao." In the second video, posted on September 16, 2022, Samin and Behin are seen without hijabs singing a different Persian version of the song. This second version of the song is linked to the widespread anti-regime protests that have been taking place in Iran since Jina (Mahsa) Amini died after being beaten and arrested by Iran's morality police for not wearing her hijab properly. In the latter version, the sisters sang: "The cluster of our anger is thirsty for rain. Our rights are not petty... Finally, the chains of oppression will be broken by our hands."
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This clip is a compilation of videos from anti-regime protests taking place in Iran's Baluchestan province. In the videos, protestors can be seen burning Iranian flags, stomping on a poster of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and chanting various slogans, including "Free Baluchestan!" "Death to Basiji!" and "Curse the [Rule of the] Jurisprudent!" The videos were posted to the @Aajoibaluchist1 and @freemakoran Twitter accounts on November 11, 2022.
This clip is a compilation of videos of anti-regime protestors in Iran knocking turbans off the heads of Islamic scholars throughout Iran. The videos in this clip were posted to various online sources, including several Twitter accounts and the Iran International Media Instagram account, between November 6 and November 10, 2022.
This clip features a video of an Iranian dancer named Morteza Ghaderi performing a dance routine in front of the Azadi Tower, a Tehran landmark, to a song dedicated to Mahsa (Jina) Amini. The song, performed by exiled Iranian musician Hichkas, calls for the hanging of the "insolent officers" and others who are "complicit in these crimes." The video of Ghaderi's dance routine was uploaded to @SamanArbabi on Twitter on November 11, 2022. On December 11, 2022 Hichkas posted on his Twitter account: "#MortezaGhaderi has been kidnapped (arrested) by the Islamic Republic.
#9920 – Tabriz University Student Confronts High-Ranking Iranian Official Harandi: We Are Freedom-Seeking Students, Not Basij Members Who Applaud Everything You Say; People Like You Are Responsible For Corruption In Iran
In a video posted on Kian Melli 1 on Telegram on November 7, 2022, a student at Tabriz University of Medical Sciences confronted Mohammad-Hossein Saffar-Harandi, a member of Iran's Expediency Council who has also served as Iran's Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance. The student criticized Saffar-Harandi and people like him for having remained silent during Ahmadinejad's government, which suppressed the anti-regime protests in 2009. He also accused Saffar-Harandi and people like him of being responsible for corruption in Iran. In addition, the student said that he had just come back from a disciplinary hearing, and that Saffar-Harandi therefore has no right to talk about freedom of speech at universities. The crowd applauded the student, who added: "These are freedom-seeking students [and] not Basij members who applaud anything you say."
This clip is a compilation of videos of Iranian protestors desecrating posters and statues of slain IRGC Qods Force Commander General Qasem Soleimani throughout Iran. The videos were posted to various Twitter and Telegram accounts between October 29 and November 5, 2022.
This clip is a compilation of the continued widespread anti-regime protests in Iran following the death of Jina (Mahsa) Amini, who died after being beaten and arrested by Iran's morality police for not wearing her hijab properly. In this clip, protestors can be seen knocking off the turbans of Islamic scholars, clashing with Iranian authorities, chanting "Basiji, IRGC, you are our ISIS!", burning down communications jamming facilities, and throwing Molotov cocktails at posters of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and of his predecessor Ruhollah Khomeini.
In one protest, protestors chanted that Khamenei is the "murderer," who was behind the shooting of IRGC members in the Shiraz shrine of Shahcheragh and that he is a "cripple." Protesters waved their arms limply, mocking his disabled arm. In another protest, they chanted: "From Zahedan to Tehran, [I'll give] my life for [freedom in] Iran!" The footage in this clip was posted between October 29 and November 1, 2022, to various Iranian accounts on social media, including those of Iran International Media and of Iranian dissident journalist Masih Alinejad. For more footage from the protests in Iran, see MEMRI TV Clips No. 9891, No. 9837, and No. 9833.
#9981 – Mother Of Saman Seydi, Iranian Kurdish Rapper Sentenced To Death By Regime For Participation In Protests, Pleads For Help To Prevent His Execution: I Ask The People, Human Rights Organizations To Help My Son
Mother of Saman Seydi, an Iranian Kurdish rapper who was sentenced to death by Iranian regime for waging a "war on God," pleads for help to prevent the execution of her son in a video posted on various Iranian online sources on December 8, 2022. She said that her son was denied a lawyer and that he was an artist, not an anarchist, and she appealed to human rights organizations, "People, I am a mother with an aching heart." She asked where in the world a person is executed for burning a garbage can.
Saman Rasoulpour of Iran International Farsi news outlets posted a video of an anti-regime protest at the University of Kurdistan in Iran on his Twitter account on November 1, 2022. In the video, male and female are seen dancing and chanting: "Woman, life, freedom!"
On October 26, 2022, protesters in Iran marked 40 days since the death of Jina ("Mahsa") Amini during an arrest by Iran's morality police for not wearing her hijab – headscarf "properly." Protesters marched to Amini's grave outside of Saqqez in Iranian Kurdistan despite road closures, and they chanted slogans including "We will overthrow the dictator, [and] we will avenge Jina!" and "This is the year of a bloody [uprising], Khamenei will be toppled!" The footage in this clip originated from various social media accounts, including Iran International Media on Instagram, BBC Persian journalist Khosro Kalbasi Isfahani's Twitter account, and Kurdistan human rights on Instagram. For more footage from the protests in Iran, see MEMRI TV Clips No. 9891, No. 9837, and No. 9833.
#9891 – Over One Month After Jina (Mahsa) Amini's Death, Protests Continue In Iran – Molotov Cocktails Thrown At Official Buildings, Protestors Chant: We Will Fight, We Will Die, We Will Take Iran Back!
On September 16, 2022, a 22-year-old Iranian woman named Jina (Mahsa) Amini died after being beaten and arrested by Iran's morality police for not wearing her hijab (headscarf) properly. As a result, protests broke out throughout Iran, and have been ongoing since. This clip is a compilation of footage from the protests. For an earlier clip of footage from the protests, see MEMRI TV Clip No. 9833 and MEMRI TV Clip No. 9837.
In this clip, protestors and university students can be seen throwing Molotov cocktails at the homes and offices of government officials, chanting obscenities against the Basij and the regime, interrupting a speech by the Iranian regime's spokesman, and chanting: "We will fight, we will die, we will take Iran back!" The footage in this clip was posted on October 24, 2022 to various social media accounts, including Iran International Media's Instagram page, Iranian dissident journalist Masih Alinejad's Instagram page, and several Iranian Telegram channels.
#9972 – Kurdish Iranian Majles Member Jalal Mahmoudzadeh: I Hold Interior Minister Vahidi Accountable For The Killing Of Protesters In Kurdish Areas; Why Doesn't He Stop The Crackdown On Kurdish Towns?
Jalal Mahmud Zadeh, an Iranian Majles Representative from the Kurdish city of Mahabad, said at the Majles that he holds Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi personally accountable for the killing of 105 protesters in Kurdish areas of Iran. He criticized the regime's crackdowns in Kurdish cities and said that when he filed an official query on the subject, it was disregarded, contrary to Majles protocols. The video of Mahmudzadeh's statement was posted to @botinkurdistany on Twitter on November 28, 2022.
On December 8, 2022, Mohsen Shakeri, who was arrested during anti-regime protests, was executed by Iranian authorities. This is a video of his family upon receiving the news of his execution, it was posted on various Iranian online sources.
On September 29, 2022, Twitter user @MaryamNazarie shared the song titled "Baraye," meaning "for the sake of." The song, which was written by Iranian singer and songwriter Shervin Hajipour, is based on anti-regime tweets and went viral on social media, becoming an anthem for protesters against compulsory hijab. The song advocates for Iranian women, poor people, a normal life, the environment, imprisoned academics, peace, and hope. The singer concluded: "For freedom."
#9864 – Iranian Opposition Group Hacks Newscast During Khamenei Statement, Airs Images In Support Of Mahsa Amini Protests, Photo Of Khamenei In Crosshairs: The Blood Of The Youth Is Dripping From Your Hooves!
On October 8, 2022, the evening news bulletin on Channel 1 (Iran), which was simultaneously being aired on IRINN TV (Iran), was hacked by an opposition group called "Ali's Justice" as it was airing a statement made by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The hacked broadcast aired a slide in support of the recent protests surrounding the death of Mahsa Amini, and it called on viewers to rebel against the regime. It also showed an image of Khamenei in crosshairs and engulfed in flames with the caption: "The blood of the youth is dripping from your hooves". In addition, the slide included photos of Mahsa Amini and of other Iranian women killed by authorities during the protests.
#9837 – Violent Clashes, Protests Continue In Iran After Death Of Woman At Hands Of Morality Police For 'Improperly' Wearing Her Headscarf: Be Wary Of The Day When We Have Weapons! Khamenei, We Will Bury You! Death To The Islamic Republic! Death To The Dictator!
On September 16, 2022, a 22-year-old Iranian woman named Jina "Mahsa" Amini died after being beaten and arrested by Iran's morality police for not wearing her hijab (headscarf) properly. As a result, protests broke out throughout Iran. This clip is a compilation of footage from the protests. For an earlier clip of footage from the protests, see MEMRI TV Clip No. 9833.
In this clip, protestors can be seen violently clashing with Iranian authorities, beating policemen, destroying vehicles belong to Iran's police and security forces, burning pictures of slain IRGC Qods Force Commander Qasem Soleimani, and chanting slogans such as "Khamenei, [you] evil man, we will bury you in the ground!", "Death to the Islamic Republic!", and "Be wary of the day when we have weapons!"
This clip includes footage from protests in Tehran, Mashhad, Tabriz, Kerman, Noshahr, Rasht, Kish Island, Rafsanjan, and elsewhere. The footage was posted on September 19-22, 2022 to various Twitter accounts, including those of the Iran International Media outlet and of Iranian journalists Saman Rasoulpour, Saman Arbabi, and Maryam Moqaddam.
This clip is a compilation of Iranians protesting against the Iranian regime before and after the soccer match between Iran and England at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Iranian fans attending the match can be seen booing and shouting while the Iranian national anthem was played before the match, while the national team players refused to sing the anthem. In addition, protesters in Tehran can be seen celebrating England's victory and chanting: "Death to the dictator!" The footage in this clip is from various online sources.
This clip is a compilation of videos of Iranians throughout Iran celebrating the national soccer team's loss to the U.S. and subsequent elimination at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The videos in this clip were posted to various online outlets on November 29, 2022.