TEHRAN: As anti-government protests spill into a third week, Iranian lawmakers during a parliament session on Sunday pledged allegiance to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei while Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said a “conspiracy” by the country’s enemies had “failed”.

“At a time when the Islamic republic was overcoming economic problems to become more active in the region and in the world, the enemies came into play with the intention of isolating the country, but they failed in this conspiracy,” President Raisi said in a statement released by the presidency.

Rally in Canada protests woman’s killing in Iran

The protests, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini from Iranian Kurdistan, have spiralled into the biggest show of opposition to Iran’s authorities in years. People also took to the streets in Canada and some other countries against her killing in the mid of September.

Pledging allegiance to the Islamic Republic’s top authority Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iranian lawmakers during a parliament session on Sunday, chanted: “The blood in our veins is a gift to our leader”, a video shared on Iranian state media showed. On the other hand, Iran expects that $7 billion of its blocked resources will be released with the finalisation of negotiations for prisoners swap. The state news agency IRNA said Tehran allowed an Iranian-American, Baquer Namazi, to leave the country and released his son, Siamak, 50, from detention.

Billions of dollars in Iranian funds have been frozen in countries including South Korea, Japan and China after the US unilaterally withdrew from a nuclear deal and reimposed biting sanctions on the Islamic Republic in 2018.

Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2022

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