People living in 20 cities in Iran’s Kurdistan (Rojhilat) went on a general strike on Saturday in response to Tehran attacking Iranian Kurdish opposition groups in Iraq with missiles and drones on Wednesday.
The Kurdish people responded to a call on 29 September by Iranian Kurdistan’s Political Parties Cooperation Centre to a general strike. The call came after Tehran’s strikes against northern Iraqi targets using 70 missiles and “kamikaze drones” left 14 people dead and 58 wounded on Wednesday, according to Kurdish officials.
Iran continued its artillery and drone strikes against Kurdish groups in northern Iraq on Saturday, an Iranian Kurdish official told Agence-France Press.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Thursday vowed to continue cross-border attacks until the Iranian Kurdish rebels in Iraq had been disarmed.
Iran holds Kurdish exiles in northern Iraq as well as foreign enemies largely responsible for protests that have spread to over 40 cities in the last two weeks.
The protests were sparked by the death of a 22-year old Kurdish woman who died in hospital after a 3-day coma, allegedly of brain damage she suffered when she was arrested by Iran’s morality police for wearing her hijab improperly.
Iranian Kurdish exiles say that the Iranian government is “trying to make them scapegoats to divert attention away from the widespread anger fuelling the protests”.
Kurdish populated areas in northern Iraq are home to several Iranian political groups in exile, including the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Iran, Komala, which has Marxist leanings, and the Kurdistan Free Life Party, or PJAK.
Protests in other parts of Iran continued on Saturday, with videos showing student demonstrations in dozens of universities, including the universities of Shiraz, Mashhad, Yazd, Fares, Zangan, Bahonar and North Tehran. Solidarity demonstrations also took place in London, Rome, Madrid and other Western cities.
Some 52 people have died and hundreds had been left injured in clashes between the protestors and the security forces, human rights watchdog Amnesty International said on Friday. The death toll is on the rise since at least 20 people were reportedly killed after security forces fired on them in Zahedan, the capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province, also on Friday.