Mahsa Amini: Iran's supreme leader says 22-year-old woman's death 'deeply broke my heart'

The supreme leader's comments come as thousands of Iranians take to the streets to protest against the Islamic republic's treatment of women.

Image: Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said the death of Mahsa Amini “deeply broke my heart”.

Speaking at a military ceremony on Monday, Mr Khamenei described the 22-year-old woman’s death in custody as a “bitter incident”.

Ms Amini died after being arrested by Iran’s morality police for allegedly breaking the country’s strict Islamic dress code. Her family have claimed she was tortured.

After some of the biggest protests in years broke out as a result, the supreme leader blamed “the United States and the Zionist regime”.

He said they were “planned” by people who are “not ordinary Iranians”, adding that the security forces policing them have faced “injustice”.

Protesters have taken to the streets across Iran – and other countries including Turkey, Lebanon and France – in defiance of the Islamic republic’s treatment of women.

Iranian state TV claims 41 demonstrators have died since protests began on 17 September, but Norway-based group Iran Human Rights estimates the figure to be much higher at 133.

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