| Welcome to Global Village Space

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Clashes erupt in London over death of Iranian President

The clashes in London highlight the deep divisions within the Iranian community, both in Iran and among the diaspora.

Four people were injured, and one person was arrested after supporters of the Iranian government clashed with dissidents outside a London vigil held to commemorate the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. The Metropolitan Police were called to Alperton Lane, Wembley, following reports of disorder on Friday evening.

Vigil Turns Violent

The incident occurred at an office building on Alperton Lane, Wembley, where supporters of the Iranian government had organized an event to mark Raisi’s death. The President, known as the “Butcher of Tehran” for his involvement in mass executions in 1988, died last week in a helicopter crash. Anti-government protesters gathered outside the venue, leading to a confrontation with pro-government supporters. Witnesses reported that pro-government attendees attacked the protesters, resulting in four non-life-threatening injuries.

Read More: Iran’s military reveals new details of Raisi crash

Police Response and Dispersal Order

The Metropolitan Police were alerted to the disorder at 6:21 pm. Officers, supported by paramedics from the London Ambulance Service, attended the scene. A dispersal order was issued, effective until 3 am on Saturday, requiring those involved to leave the area. One man was arrested on suspicion of violent disorder. Police are conducting further investigations, including examining social media footage, to identify other potential offenders.

Eyewitness Accounts

Niyak Ghorbani, a 37-year-old exiled Iranian dissident who attended the protest, described the events to MailOnline. Ghorbani stated that the anti-government protesters had gathered to express their joy over Raisi’s death by dancing and playing the song “Helicopter.” This celebration angered the pro-government supporters, who then launched the attack. Ghorbani plans to protest again at a candlelit vigil for Raisi scheduled outside the Iranian Embassy in central London.

Incident Footage and Injuries

Footage shared on social media captures the chaotic scene. In one video, pro-government supporters confront the protesters, with one man repeatedly shouting expletives before attacking a woman who was filming. The woman was pushed over and kicked while on the ground, resulting in her being sent to the hospital for treatment. Another video shows paramedics treating a man who had been assaulted. He was also hospitalized for his injuries.

Raisi’s Death and Aftermath

Ebrahim Raisi died in a helicopter crash in northwest Iran on Sunday, alongside other officials, including the country’s foreign minister. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei declared a five-day mourning period in Iran. Despite official mourning, many Iranians globally celebrated Raisi’s death. The hashtag “Happy Helicopter Day” trended on social media as dissidents expressed their relief at his passing.

Read More: Israeli politicians celebrate Iranian President Raisi’s death

The clashes in London highlight the deep divisions within the Iranian community, both in Iran and among the diaspora. Raisi’s controversial legacy continues to provoke strong reactions, reflecting broader discontent with the current Iranian regime. The incident emphasizes the volatile nature of political events related to Iran, especially in cities with significant Iranian expatriate populations.