Some 5,000 people marched Monday to the EU parliament in the French city of Strasbourg in support of Iran’s anti-government protesters as Paris prepared an Eiffel Tower tribute to Mahsa Amini, whose death in September prompted the demonstrations.
The Strasbourg march was organized by Iranians in Europe on the 44th anniversary of the day when Iran’s last Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, ailing and under growing pressure, left the country for ever. The following month, the monarchy collapsed under the fervor of the Islamic revolution that gave Iran its theocracy. Some of the demonstrators Monday carried photos of the former king.
Last week, over 100 MEPs signed a letter calling for the European Union to take a firmer stance against Iran.
The European parliament’s plenary session is to debate the EU’s response this week to the protests and executions in the Islamic Republic. A non-binding resolution is to be voted on Thursday.
The MEPs’ letter to Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, called on the bloc to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps “in its entirety as a terrorist organization.” The IRGC was designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. in 2019.
Paris City Hall said in a statement that the words “Woman. Life. Freedom.” and “#StopExecutionsInIran” will be displayed on the Eiffel Tower on Monday and Tuesday evening to mark four months from the death of Mahsa Amini, in a “homage to those who are bravely fighting for their freedom as the (Iranian) regime is continuing executions of protesters.”
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and some deputy mayors are expected to go to the Eiffel Tower Monday in a show of support. Paris posthumously declared Amani an honorary citizen in October.
Iran has been rocked by protests since the Sept. 16 death of the 22-year-old, who died after being detained by the morality police. The protests have since become one of the most serious challenges to Iran’s leaders.