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Iran said it had summoned the ambassadors of Britain and Norway as protests continued over the death of a young woman in police custody in the country.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday it had summoned Simon Shercliff, the UK’s ambassador to Iran, on Saturday and protested against hosting London-based Persian-language media critical of the regime.
The ministry claimed that the media provoked unrest and considered that their reports interfered in Iran’s internal affairs and acted against its sovereignty.
The state-run IRNA news agency also reported that the ministry summoned Norway’s ambassador to Iran and protested strongly against the recent statements of Norwegian Parliament Speaker Masoud Qarahkhani.
Clashes between protesters and the Revolutionary Guards in northern Iran, the IRGC’s Al-Shula base: Reports
Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman, died in police custody after she was arrested by the morality police in Tehran earlier this month for allegedly wearing the Islamic headscarf loosely. Police said she died of a heart attack and was not mistreated, but her family disputed this account.
And her death led to the outbreak of unrest in the provinces of Iran and the capital, Tehran. As of Sunday, protests over her death have spread to at least 46 cities, towns and villages in Iran. State television indicated that at least 41 protesters and police had been killed since the protests began on September 17.
The semi-official Fars news agency reported that a member of the Basij, a volunteer force with the Iranian Guard, was killed by protesters Saturday night in Tehran. Another member of the Basij, who had been in a coma since Thursday after street clashes, died in Urmia, West Azerbaijan province, on Sunday, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported.
Amini’s death sparked strong condemnation from Western countries and the United Nations and solidarity protests abroad. On Sunday, violent demonstrations erupted in the streets outside the Iranian embassy in London, with stones thrown at police and five protesters arrested. A number of police officers were injured in the clashes, although they were not serious.
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Pro-government rallies were also held on Sunday in several cities across Iran. Thousands participated in a massive rally in the capital’s coup d’état, or Revolution Square, waving Iranian flags. Some officials, including Cabinet spokesman Ali Bahaduri Jahromi, attended the rally in Tehran.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.