The sister of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has condemned the crackdown on nationwide protests and called on the Revolutionary Guards to lay down their weapons.
Badri Hosseini Khamenei, who lives in Iran, criticised her brother’s “despotic caliphate”, according to a letter published by her France-based son.
Demonstrations demanding the overthrow of Iran’s clerical rulers are now in their fourth month, following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in custody of the morality police.
The regime has sought to pin the blame for the unrest on Kurdish separatists and foreign powers, but academics say this is a false accusation and the protests involve every level of Iranian society.
Ms Khamenei, who lives in Iran, criticised the clerical establishment starting from the time of the Islamic Republic’s late founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to her brother’s rule, the letter, dated “December 2022”, said.
“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,” she wrote in the letter which was shared on Wednesday on the Twitter account of her son, Mahmoud Moradkhani.
“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 said.