UPDATED: Iran’s Raisi tells Biden: Iran was freed 43 years ago

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Iran’s hardline president on Friday said that Iran had been freed by the 1979 Islamic revolution, responding to a vow by U.S. President Joe Biden to “free Iran”.

“I am telling Biden that Iran was freed 43 years ago,” President Ebrahim Raisi said in a live televised speech.

Biden on Thursday vowed to “free” Iran and said that demonstrators working against the country’s government would soon succeed in freeing themselves.

“Don’t worry, we’re gonna free Iran. They’re gonna free themselves pretty soon,” Biden said during a wide-ranging campaign speech in California, as dozens of demonstrators gathered outside holding banners supporting Iranian protesters.

Biden did not expand on his remarks or specify what additional actions he would take during the remarks at MiraCosta College near San Diego.

The White House’s National Security Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Seven weeks of demonstrations in Iran were ignited by the death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of Iran’s morality police.

The protests triggered by Amini’s death on Sept. 16 have shown the defiance of many young Iranians in challenging the clerical leadership, overcoming fear that has stifled dissent in the wake of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The United States on Wednesday said it will try to remove Iran from the 45-member U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) over the government’s denial of women’s rights and brutal crackdown on protests.

Iran is just starting a four-year term on the commission, which meets annually every March and aims to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi speaks during an anti-US rally marking the 43rd anniversary of the US Embassy takeover, in front of the former US Embassy in Tehran, Iran, 04 November 2022. Iranian students occupied the embassy on 04 November 1979 after the USA granted permission to the late Iranian Shah to be hospitalized in the United States. Over 50 US diplomats and guards were held hostage by students for 444 days. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said that Iran gained its freedom 43 years ago and that the country doesn’t need the US to bring freedom for them. EPA-EFE/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

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