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People light a fire during a protest against the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran

The demonstrations that erupted more than a week ago at the funeral of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini have turned into the biggest protests in recent years. Iran summoned the British and Norwegian ambassadors over what it called interference and hostile media coverage of nationwide unrest sparked by the death of a woman detained by morality police . Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian also criticized US support for “rioters” – the label Tehran has used for many of the people who have joined the protests that have gripped the country and prompted security crackdowns and restrictions on the internet and phones.

Demonstrations that erupted more than a week ago at the funeral of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who died in custody after being arrested by police enforcing the Islamic Republic’s strict restrictions on women’s dress, have turned into the biggest protests in years. Clashes between security forces and protesters continued in several northwestern regions, according to sources in the cities of Tabriz, Urmia, Rasht and Hamedan

Iranian Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi called on activists and artists around the world to support the protesters, who he said are “seeking simple yet basic rights that have been denied to them by the state for years. I deeply respect their fight for freedom and the right to choose their own destiny despite all the brutality they are subjected to,” Farhadi said in an Instagram post. Iranian state television said 41 people had been killed since protests erupted on September 16 following Amini’s death. The semi-official  said on Sunday that they included eight members of the Basij militia, under the umbrella of the Revolutionary Guards dead.

The official said on Sunday that a member of the Basij died of injuries sustained in a clash with rioters in Orumieh, in northwestern Iran, home to many of Iran’s 10 million Kurds. It said his death came at a “critical moment in the 43-year history of the Islamic Revolution,” referring to Iran’s four decades of clerical rule since the overthrow of the Shah. State media said 12 bank branches were destroyed and 219 ATMs damaged in the unrest in recent days.

The Iranian human rights group Hengaw described the town of Oshnavieh, also in the northwest of the country, as “completely militarized”. She said the city was on strike, authorities were making arrests and at least five bodies were in the hospital morgue.Iranian television showed thousands of people rallying in Tehran on Sunday in support of the authorities, chanting slogans against the United States and opposition groups they accused of insulting the Koran. “Sedition is the cause of the riots and America is running it,” they chanted. An Iranian prosecutor said several people arrested in recent protests in northern Iran were members of the Islamic State group and the communist Kurdish militant group Komaleh.

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