Iranians continued to demonstrate on the streets Saturday night against their ruling mullahs as a massive fire broke out at Tehran's notorious Evin prison where political opponents of the regime are kept.
Social media footage showed flames and smoke billowing from the prison in Tehran as gun shots rang out. Demonstrators also surrounded the detention center, honking horns, blocking traffic and chanting Death to the dictator!”
An official quoted by official Iranian state media said "criminal elements" had caused the uprising in the prison but that the disturbance had been quelled. Tehran prosecutor Ali Salehi was quoted by The Associated Press as saying that “peace” had returned to the prison and that the unrest was not related to the protests which have swept the country for four weeks.
Those protests -- often led by women or students -- were ignited by the the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, a young women fatally beaten by security officers for failing to properly cover her hair in accordance with Iran's strict dress code for women.
The demonstrations were in full action agains on Saturday, the 30th straight day. Students rallied near universities in Kermanshah, Rasht and Tehran, while in Sanandaj school girls chanted, “Woman, life, freedom” as they marched down a central street, AP reported.
Ali Safavi, a leader of the Iranian opposition group the National Council for the Resistance of Iran, told Just the News on Friday the protests had evolved "way beyond" lamenting Amini's death to "calling for regime change."
Safavi called on the United States and other Western countries to stand with the Iranian protesters rather than negotiate a nuclear deal with the regime.
"I think it is high time that the United States and the European Union and European countries stand with the people of Iran so that they can achieve what they have been yearning for and fighting for," Safavi said.