Iraqi paramilitary group denies plan to support Iran in suppressing protests

Iranian protesters chant slogans at a rally in Tehran, Iran, Saturday. AP

Baghdad ( – An Iraqi paramilitary group has denied media reports about a plan by the Popular Mobilization Forces to help Iranian authorities suppress ongoing anti-government protests.

Speaking to Baghdad Today on Monday, Mahmoud al-Rabei, a member at the political bureau of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (League of Righteous People) group, said his group does not intend to support the Iranian government in its bids to suppress such protests, stressing that, “It is an issue of the Iranian people and they only have the right to self-determination.”

Commending on why Popular Mobilization Forces intervened in Syria and rejected to do the same in Iran, Rabei said, “The PMF’s involvement in the Syrian crisis aimed mainly at protecting holy sites in Syria, not supporting the Syrian regime.”

“The Iranian government, on the contrary, is capable of maintaining the situation in the country,” he stressed.

The Iranian state TV has reported that 10 people have been killed amid nationwide protests, without elaborating, according to Fox News on Monday.

The state TV report made the reference in a package on the ongoing demonstrations that began Thursday.

Authorities have previously confirmed four deaths. It was unclear where the others occurred. The protests began Thursday in the second Iranian most populous city of Mashhad over economic issues and have since expanded to several cities. Hundreds of Iranian protesters people have been arrested.

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