The sister of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reportedly has written a letter condemning her brother’s “despotic caliphate” while also calling on the Revolutionary Guards to “lay down their weapons.”
The comments from Badri Hosseini Khamenei, who lives in Iran, were shared by her France-based son on Twitter, according to Reuters. The comments come as the Middle Eastern country continues to be roiled by protests following the September death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in police custody.
“I think it is appropriate now to declare that I oppose my brother’s actions and I express my sympathy with all mothers mourning the crimes of the Islamic Republic, from the time of Khomeini to the current era of the despotic caliphate of Ali Khamenei,” Badri Hosseini Khamenei said in the letter, referencing Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Iranian regime.
“Ali Khamenei’s Revolutionary Guards and mercenaries should lay down their weapons as soon as possible and join the people before it is too late,” the letter added.
Iran has been rocked by unrest since the Sept. 16 death of Amini, who passed away in police custody after being arrested for not wearing a head covering in public.
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The county’s leaders are also grappling with a three-day general strike movement that started Monday.
In posts circulating on social media, demonstrators asked businesses to close and called on people to stop using banks. The level of participation was unclear, but in neighborhoods in northern Tehran, most shops were closed Tuesday afternoon, and there was a heavy security presence, according to The Associated Press.
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On Monday, Iran’s judiciary chief, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejehi, ordered the arrest of anyone encouraging the strike or trying to intimidate shops into shutting down. According to Tasnim, authorities in the southern city of Shiraz shut down a pharmacy after it reportedly refused to sell items to patients on Monday.
The unrest that followed Amini’s death became one of the largest challenges to the Iranian regime in decades, spreading across the country and showing few signs of slowing down despite attempts by police to crack down on the demonstrations.
Fox News’ Michael Lee and The Associated Press contributed to this report.