Iran shoots down plane carrying soccer star’s wife, blames UK for unrest | Daily News Byte

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A flight that was bound for Dubai – carrying the wife and daughter of former national soccer team captain Ali Dei – has been rerouted by Iranian authorities to prevent her from leaving the country, state media reported.

Mr Dei has previously supported anti-government protests.

Amid a concerted clampdown, Tehran also said the arrests in Iran of citizens linked to Britain showed its “destructive role” in more than three months of unrest.

People across Iran’s social spectrum have joined in one of the most sustained challenges to the country’s ruling theocracy since the 1979 Islamic revolution, relying heavily on social media platforms — which the government is trying to shut down — to organize and spread news of the demonstrations.

One service that could help Iranians circumvent Internet restrictions is Starlink, a satellite-based broadband service operated by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

On Monday, Mr Musk said the company was getting close to having 100 active Starlink satellite receivers inside Iran.

Meanwhile, Mr Dei’s wife was banned from traveling abroad, Iran’s judiciary said, after authorities ordered the plane to land on Iran’s Kish island in the Gulf as a passenger.

“I really don’t know the reason for this. Did they want to arrest a terrorist?” Mr Dei told the semi-official news agency ISNA.

After he supported the protests on social media, authorities this month shut down a jewelry shop and a restaurant he owned.

Protests after the death of Mahsa Amini

The protests were sparked by the September 16 death in detention of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian who was arrested for wearing “inappropriate clothing” under Iran’s strict Islamic dress code for women.

Iran has accused Western countries, Israel and Saudi Arabia of fomenting the unrest, allegations that have been accompanied by the arrest of dozens of dual citizens, part of an official narrative designed to deflect blame from the Iranian leadership.

A blue, red and white sign of a woman in a hijab, with the words Mahsa Ami, protesters gather in the background
Protests have spread around the world – including in Sydney.(ABC RN: Nick Baker)

Asked by a reporter to comment on Sunday’s announcement of the arrest of seven people linked to Britain, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said: “Some countries, especially the ones you mentioned, had an unconstructive role regarding recent developments in Iran.

“His role was completely destructive and instigated riots.”

The British Foreign Office said it was seeking further information from Iranian authorities on the reported arrests.

Rights group HRANA said around 18,500 people have been arrested during the unrest.

Government officials say most have been released.

In addition to the arrests, authorities have imposed travel bans on dozens of artists, lawyers, journalists and celebrities for supporting the protests.

Harana also said that as of December 25, 507 protesters had been killed, including 69 minors as well as 66 members of the security forces.

Reuters

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