Iran recruits extremist foreign militias to help ‘wipe out rioters’ from Tehran

Iran has recruited extremist foreign militias to help “wipe rioters from the streets of Tehran”.

Protesters continued to take to the streets in Iran on Sunday to protest the death of Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody after being arrested for incorrectly wearing a hijab.

Militias from Syria, Lebanon and Iraq calling themselves “the volunteers from Islamic countries” announced in a social media post that they would join the fight against public dissent.

The group says it was formed “spontaneously” and that members are “willing to give their lives to Ayatollah Khamenei”. Its members are followers of Qassem Suleimani, the commander of the Quds Force who was killed by a US drone in January last year.

However, Iranian opposition groups have identified them as radical Shia militias that take their orders directly from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, arguing that they have attended several previous mass protests in Iran.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday summoned Britain’s ambassador to Tehran to complain about “the presence of media in London inciting riots and destruction in Iran”.

BBC Persian, ManoTo and Iran International TV operate out of London and have covered the protests in Iran through their satellite channels.

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the Iranian embassy in London on Sunday, throwing rocks and bottles at police, chanting “Death to the Islamic Republic”. At least five officers were seriously injured and 12 people were arrested, Scotland Yard said.

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