Berlin: Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Berlin on Saturday to demonstrate against alleged human rights violations by Iran with calls being made to topple the government.
The demonstrators also told potential investors not to support Tehran, according to German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW).
They gathered at Berlin’s government quarter and protested against Iran’s use of “draconian” measures against opponents.
The protesters, carrying Iranian flags and green, white and red balloons depicting the country’s national colours, shouted slogans like “down with the regime”.
While the organisers claimed that 15,000 people had participated in the protest, police said that only 4,500 were present. The G
erman broadcaster estimated that around 7,000 to 8,000 people attended the demonstration.
A message by the leader of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, Maryam Rajavi, was played for the crowd during the agitation.
She condemned Iran for “carrying out acts of terror in other countries”. Rajavi also urged German Chancellor Angela Merkel to send a delegation to assess Iran’s prisons.
Javad Dabiran, the Berlin representative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, told DW, “This regime cannot be reformed. We want to convey the message that any investment that seeks to change this regime from within is a mistake and that is what the Europeans are doing.
For this reason, we are calling on Germany and the European Union to rethink their policy because it is catastrophic.” Iran has come under the scanner and faced international criticism for its use of the death penalty for homosexuality and political dissidence.
A similar protest was held in the German capital on July 6 last year.