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Source: IranWire

Mar 14, 2023

Protesters took to the streets of multiple Iranian cities on the evening of March 13 to call for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic, ahead of Chaharshanbe Suri, the Persian festival of fire.

Videos shared on social media show demonstrators in cities including Tehran, Sanandaj, Kamiyaran and Mashhad, chanting "Woman, life, freedom," the main slogan of the nationwide protest movement triggered by the September death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of morality police.

In the capital, residents of Ekbatan Town held a night march and chanted slogans against "poverty, corruption, expensiveness.”

On Tehran’s Sattar Khan Street, a video shows demonstrators shouting, "Death to the dictator" and "This year is the year of the blood, Seyed Ali is overthrown,” in reference to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Protesters gathered at night in the western Kurdish cities of Sanandaj and Kamiyaran to light fires in the streets. A video obtained by IranWire shows demonstrators blocking streets in Sanandaj and chanting "Death to the dictator."

Ahead of Nowrouz, Iranians celebrate Chaharshanbe Suri, the festival of fire, by setting off fireworks and lighting bonfires, defying a ban on the festivities imposed by the Islamic Republic.

Ahead of the festival, which this year starts on the afternoon of March 14, the authorities have warned citizens against disrupting public order.

Abbas Ali Mohammadian, commander of the Greater Tehran Police Force, has said that officers in uniform and plainclothes will be deployed across the capital starting at 3:00 p.m. on March 14.

The authorities have cracked down hard on the women-led protest movement, seen as one of the most serious challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution.

The security forces have killed more than 520 people and unlawfully detained over 20,000 others, activists say. Following biased trials, the judiciary has handed down stiff sentences, including the death penalty, to protesters.

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