US President Joe Biden has said his administration will impose “further costs” on those responsible for violence against Iranian protesters, who have taken to the streets for more than two weeks in anger over the recent death of a 22-year-old woman in Tehran.
In a statement on Monday evening, Biden said he was “gravely concerned about reports of the intensifying violent crackdown on peaceful protesters in Iran, including students and women, who are demanding their equal rights and basic human dignity”.
“This week, the United States will be imposing further costs on perpetrators of violence against peaceful protestors. We will continue holding Iranian officials accountable and supporting the rights of Iranians to protest freely,” he said.
Amini’s death prompted an outpouring of anger against the Iranian government, with demonstrators demanding more civil liberties, including an end to the dress code imposed on women.
“I say explicitly that these riots and this insecurity were a design by the US and the occupying, fake Zionist regime [Israel] and those who are paid by them, and some traitorous Iranians abroad helped them,” Khamenei told graduating cadets at a police university in Tehran.
Last week, Washington sanctioned Iran’s “morality police”, as well as seven leaders of Iranian security organizations that it said, “routinely employ violence to suppress peaceful protestors and members of Iranian civil society, political dissidents, women’s rights activists, and members of the Iranian Baha’i community”.
It remains to be seen whether these will be Biden’s only actions against Iran. One thing is for sure, there is not nearly enough to concern the Ayatollah regime, and real action must be taken. The US and the EU alike must re-evaluate their attempts for a deal. Is the Western world truly willing to conduct a deal with a tyrant regime that is proving to subdue its citizens and marginalized groups?