Turkey expresses concerns over violent protests in Iran

Turkey expresses concerns over violent protests in Iran

Turkey expresses concerns over violent protests in Iran

Turkey has expressed its “concern” over ongoing protests in Iran, warning against escalation of tension in anti-government demonstrations that began last week. 

The Foreign Ministry also stated that Ankara hopes there will be “no foreign intervention” in the events.

Turkey “wishes that the peace in the country is ensured as soon as possible and common sense dominates to prevent the escalation of the events, and that the provocative rhetoric and external interventions are avoided,” the Foreign Ministry said on Jan. 2  in a written statement. 

The ministry expressed worry about “reports that the demonstrations started in Iran on Dec. 28 have spread, people have been killed during the incidents, and public buildings have been damaged.”

Turkey “attaches great importance to the protection of friendly and brotherly Iran’s social peace and stability,” said the statement.

“In this context, taking into account the statement by President Rouhani that the people have the right to peaceful demonstration, we believe that the law should not be violated, public property should not be harmed, and provocations and violence should be avoided,” the ministry stated.

The protests were triggered by a number of economic issues and have since expanded to several cities across Iran. Some 450 people have been arrested in the Iranian capital over the past three days during unrest linked to protests, an official told local media on Tuesday.

“200 people were arrested on Saturday, 150 on Sunday and around 100 on Monday,” Ali-Asghar Naserbakht, a deputy in the Tehran city governor’s office, told the reformist-linked ILNA news agency. 

Protests have been relatively small in Tehran compared with many parts of the country since the unrest began. 

“We feel the situation in Tehran is calmer than previous days. Already yesterday, it was calmer than before,” said Naserbakht, adding that no request had yet been put to the Revolutionary Guards to intervene in the capital. 

“We will not permit insecurity to continue in any way in Tehran. If it continues, officials will take decisions to finish it,” said Esmail Kowsari, a deputy commander for a local branch of the Revolutionary Guards, on state television.