Anger in Iran over jet's downing; gunfire disperses protests

Cheryl Sanders
January 14, 2020

On Monday, videos surfaced of Iranian police and security forces firing live ammunition and tear gas at protesters in Tehran's Azadi Square.

All 176 people on the Ukraine-bound flight last Wednesday were killed.

After initially denying responsibility for the aircraft's downing, Iran's government has since said its military mistook the plane for an incoming hostile target.

"The arrest of our Ambassador in Tehran without grounds or explanation is a flagrant violation of global law", the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement.

Asserting that the government was working to "break down the silos" between government branches so they could work together to ensure justice for grieving families, Mendicino said ensuring that families are compensated would also be a priority.

"Oh, my God, she's bleeding nonstop!" one person shouted.

Its foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebahr described as "very worrying" videos reportedly showing security forces cracking down on demonstrators.

"The protest by thousands of Iranians in Tehran and a number of other cities in the past three days, in which people were chanting slogans like 'Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, resign, resign, ' makes it palpably clear that the Iranian people demand the overthrow of their leaders", Hossein Abedini, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, told The Epoch Times in a message.

"At protests, police absolutely did not shoot because the capital's police officers have been given orders to show restraint", Rahimi said.

The barrage was in retaliation for the killing of Iran's top general, Qassem Soleimani, in a USA drone strike in Baghdad on January 3.

Barr's remarks echoed comments made by Trump earlier Monday in which he dismissed as irrelevant questions about how imminent a threat Soleimani posed to American interests in the Middle East when Trump ordered his killing.

On Sunday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told CBS News' "Face the Nation", "I didn't see the intelligence about Iran posing an imminent threat to four USA embassies, but I believe President Trump when he says there was one".

After Soleimani's killing, vast crowds of mourners - many of them openly weeping - packed the streets in Tehran to pay their respects. The latest flare-up began at the end of December when rockets fired at US bases in Iraq killed one American contractor. Those strikes caused no casualties.

"After successive national traumas in a short period of time, people should be allowed to mourn safely and be accountable", said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran.

Soleimani, who led the Revolutionary Guard's Quds Force, was killed in a United States air strike last week - igniting fears of a war between the two countries. "Will be totally up to them but, no nuclear weapons and 'don't kill your protesters", he wrote, repeating his earlier tweets making similar calls to the Iranian authorities not to open fire.

"The world is watching".

The admission that the plane was shot down saw a public vigil held at 5 the Amirkabir University in Tehran Saturday evening, which soon spiraled into an anti-government protest. Local media accuse him of "organizing and provoking people". "These protests show a certain degree of mistrust on the part of the younger generation towards politicians inside Iran".

He said he was arrested half an hour after leaving the area. U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab decried the arrest as a "flagrant violation of global law".

Other reports by iNewsToday