Washington protesters demand ‘regime change’ in Iran

Figures of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, left, and Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, marching during the Iranian-American communities’ protests in Washington. (AFP)
Updated 09 March 2019
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Washington protesters demand ‘regime change’ in Iran

  • Some of the protestors held portraits of Maryam Rajavi, leader of a banned opposition group in Iran
  • Trump administration accused Iran of destabilizing the Middle East region

WASHINGTON: Hundreds of people turned out in Washington Friday demanding regime change in Iran and denouncing “atrocity toward the people” under Tehran’s regime.
Protesters waved Iranian flags as they chanted for “regime change now” — with some holding portraits of Maryam Rajavi, leader of the People’s Mujahedin, an Iranian opposition group banned in the country.
“The regime inside Iran is doing so much atrocity toward the people. Iran in whole has been destroyed by this regime,” said Michael Passi, an Iranian-American engineer.
“There are a lot of executions, a lot of tortures and a lot of export of terrorism by this regime,” he alleged.
“We want separation of religion and the state,” added Mina Entezari, an Arizona-based designer who was a political prisoner in Iran for seven years. “We want freedom for people.”
The administration of US President Donald Trump consistently blasts a lack of freedoms in Iran and its “destabilizing” influence on the Middle East.
A firm adversary of the Islamic republic, he has reimplemented harsh economic sanctions — but Washington insists it is not pushing for regime change, only a change to Iran’s policy in areas including missile development and support for militant groups.
“I’m 100 percent behind President Trump’s policy,” Passi said. “The only language that this Iranian regime understands is a language of force.”


Woman shot dead in N.Ireland in ‘terrorist incident’

Updated 14 min 32 sec ago
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Woman shot dead in N.Ireland in ‘terrorist incident’

  • A car-bombing and the hijacking of two vans in Londonderry earlier this year were blamed on a dissident paramilitary group
  • A 1998 peace deal largely brought an end to three decades of bloodshed in Northern Ireland between republican and unionist paramilitaries

LONDON: A woman has been shot dead during riots in the city of Londonderry in Northern Ireland and the killing is being treated as a terrorist incident, police said Friday.
Images posted on social media showed a car and van ablaze and hooded individuals throwing petrol bombs and fireworks at police vehicles.
It was not immediately clear who the woman was or who shot her.
“Sadly I can confirm that following shots being fired tonight in Creggan, a 29-year-old woman has been killed,” Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said in a statement on Twitter.
“We are treating this as a terrorist incident and we have launched a murder enquiry.”
The violence came in the run-up to the Easter weekend, when Republicans opposed to British presence in Northern Ireland mark the anniversary of a 1916 uprising against British rule.
A car-bombing and the hijacking of two vans in Londonderry (also known as Derry) earlier this year were blamed on a dissident paramilitary group.
Arlene Foster, leader of the Democratic Union Party, which is in favor of Britain’s presence in Northern Ireland, described the death as “heartbreaking news.”
“A senseless act. A family has been torn apart. Those who brought guns onto our streets in the 70s, 80s & 90s were wrong. It is equally wrong in 2019. No one wants to go back,” she wrote on Twitter.
A 1998 peace deal largely brought an end to three decades of sectarian bloodshed in Northern Ireland between republican and unionist paramilitaries, as well as British armed forces, in a period known as “the Troubles.”
Some 3,500 people were killed in the conflict — many at the hands of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).
Police have blamed a group called the New IRA for the flare-up in violence in recent months.
Some have expressed fears that recent attacks could be a sign that paramilitaries are seeking to exploit the current political turbulence over Northern Ireland and its border with the Republic of Ireland caused by Brexit.
Michelle O’Neill, the deputy leader of Irish republican party Sinn Fein, condemned those responsible for the killing.
“My heart goes out to the family of the young woman shot dead by so-called dissidents,” she wrote on Twitter.
“This was an attack on the community, an attack on the peace process and an attack on the Good Friday Agreement,” she added, while calling for calm.
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