Men and women marched through the streets of Oshnavieh in western Iran late Friday into the early hours of Saturday, cheering as they allegedly took control over parts of the city.
Videos posted to social media showed thousands of demonstrators taking to the streets in violent protest as buildings were set ablaze, including an IRGC base, according to opposition leaders.
The Iranian government has yet to comment on the partial takeover in northern Iran, and it remains unclear what happened to the IRGC forces at the base in Oshnavieh.
The destruction comes as nationwide protests continue for a ninth day in nearly 140 cities, in every one of Iran’s 31 provinces following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in police custody.
She was reportedly arrested, beaten and possibly tortured for violating Iran’s strict dress code laws and wearing her hijab too loosely.
Iranian forces have claimed she was not mistreated and died of a heart attack.
“The protests have turned into a nationwide uprising,” Ali Safavi, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran, told Fox News Digital. “It is the eruption of the Iranian people’s pent-up anger in response to 43 years of suppression, corruption, and plunder.”
Safavi said these demonstrations stand out from other uprisings, like the 2019 protests over gas prices which left 1,500 dead in the bloodiest protest in the Islamic Republic’s history because this time, women are taking a leading role.
“Over the past 40 years, tens of thousands of women have been executed for their political views and affiliation with the MEK,” he added in reference to the Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), whose aim is to overthrow the regime. “This is a watershed moment in the struggle of the Iranian people for freedom and democracy.”
Safavi also pointed out that the majority of people taking part in the nationwide protests are millennials and Gen. Z populations, which means they have never known life inside Iran without autocratic rule.
“It is time for the world community to discard its policy of appeasement and rise to support the people of Iran,” he said.
Safavi told Fox News Digital that Iranians are now “rejecting the Shah’s dictatorship and religious tyranny” and are “demanding the establishment of a democratically elected republic based on the separation of religion and state and equal rights for women, ethnic and religious minorities.”
As of Friday night, Iranian news outlets were reporting that some 35 people have been killed in the protesting across Iran. But according to MEK officials in Iran, roughly 140 have been killed and 5,000 arrested.
Fox News Digital could not independently verify the reported death and arrest figures.
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