Sunday, November 27, 2022

Iranian Protesters Claim Regime Is Using ‘Nerve Agents’ To Quell Riots - Forbes

Protests in Iran have steadily intensified in the two months since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died of injuries inflicted by the morality police for wearing an ‘inappropriate’ headscarf. Now matters are reaching a critical stage with security forces deploying heavy weapons and helicopters. According to the UN, some 40 people have been killed in the last week alone. Now there are a rash of allegations that the security forces are using nerve gas against their own people.

The claims originated in social media and have been copied many times. They show videos of what looks like green smoke drifting towards protesters in the Kurdish region of Javanroud, or pictures of munitions. Viral posts describe these as crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide, and call on the world for help.

Iranians have bad memories of nerve agents. During the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980’s, Saddam Hussein’s regime forces attempted to offset their enemy’s superiority in manpower by using chemical weapons, publicly warning Iran that “for every harmful insect there is an insecticide capable of annihilating it whatever their number and Iraq possess[es] this annihilation insecticide.” When Iranian forces took the town of Halabja in 1988, the Iraqis bombed it with a mix of mustard gas and nerve agents, killing over 3,000 people.

However, this case is very different. Dan Kaszeta, chemical weapons expert and Associate Fellow at UK defence thinktank RUSI, has been bombarded with requests from Iran to help...

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