Iran protests
Iran protestsiStock

The commander of the Iranian army's ground forces, Brigadier General Kioumars Heydari, said Thursday his troops were awaiting orders from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to intervene against protests over Mahsa Amini's death, AFP reports.

A wave of unrest has rocked Iran since Amini, 22, died on September 16 after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic's strict dress code for women.

The street violence has led to dozens of deaths, mostly of protesters but also members of the security forces.

Describing the protesters as "flies", Heydari warned on Thursday that the army stood ready to intervene alongside the police and Basij militia if ordered to do so.

"The conspirators, who today are like puppets in the hands of the enemy, should keep in mind that we will not allow the sacred blood of the martyrs to be trampled on," the Mehr news agency quoted Heydari as saying.

"We will stop them if they try to take to the streets," he stated.

On Tuesday, Iran’s judiciary signalled that authorities will be handing out severe sentences to anti-government protesters.

The country’s courts will deal harshly with anyone causing disruptions, committing criminal activities or fomenting anti-government protests, the judiciary said.

At the end of October, Iran announced it will hold public trials for 1,000 protesters who took part in demonstrations after Amini’s death.

The mass trials will take place in Tehran, marking the Iranian government’s first attempt to use a large-scale legal response to quell ongoing protests over Amini’s death.