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Rioters in Iran egged on by Western media outlets: Professor

Frame grab from University of Tehran professor, Mohammad Marandi's interview of November 15, 2022 with Press TV

An Iranian university professor says the rioters, who have been wreaking havoc across the country over the past months, receive their cue from Western media outlets.

"These rioters have been egged on by Persian-language media based in the West, largely in London, funded by the West and the Saudis," Mohammad Marandi, a University of Tehran professor, told Press TV in an interview on Tuesday.

"And these media outlets are calling the killings and the burnings and the beatings as legitimate," he added.

Scores of members of the Iranian police and the volunteer Basij force have died during the course of the riots that erupted across Iran around two months ago.

The unrest initially broke out in the Iranian capital of Tehran and then spread across the country after a 22-year-old woman from the Kurdistan Province, named as Mahsa Amini, died in hospital despite intensive medical care and resuscitation efforts.

Amini, who had been taken to a police station in Tehran to receive educational training on Hijab and dress code rules, was reported to have suddenly collapsed on the ground in the police station and then put into an ambulance to be transferred to the hospital.

Tehran Police Chief Brigadier General Hossein Rahimi has also refuted claims that Amini had been mistreated during the dress code educational session, saying no physical contact had happened between officers and the young woman.

"And we know they (the riots) are violent because well over 40 police officers and Basij members were murdered by these different rioters," Marandi noted.

"So Ofcom (the UK's communications regulator), if these were English-language media directed towards English-speaking countries, they would shut these television stations down immediately and arrest these people, but when it comes to Iran, it's all fair game," he remarked.

'Accusations against Press TV ridiculous'

Elsewhere in his comments, Marandi slammed European countries' recent sanctioning of Iran's English-language news network Press TV over what they called, its airing of "forced confessions" by some of those who have been arrested since the onset of the riots.

"They were no forced confessions on Press TV. The accusations are ridiculous. They simply wanted to sanction Press TV," he said.

Marandi, meanwhile, reminded that "none of the sanctions have any impact... All of these sanctions are simply symbolic."

However, he said, the coercive measures showed that "they (the Europeans) are intolerant towards any alternative voice."

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