Dozens have been killed in unrest since Mahsa Amini's death while she was in police custody.

Protests erupted last week after the death of Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the country's morality police in Tehran for alleged violation of the strict dress code.
Protests erupted last week after the death of Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the country's morality police in Tehran for alleged violation of the strict dress code. (Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP)

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi has called for decisively confronting protesters, as unrest over the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody turns increasingly violent.

Speaking to the family of a member of the paramilitary Basij force killed in ongoing protests in the northeastern city of Mashhad, Raisi on Saturday demanded decisive action against those "who disrupt the country's peace and security.”

He said the protests and disturbance of law and order should be differentiated, describing the angry demonstrations in the wake of Mahsa Amini's death in police custody last week as "riots".

At least 35 have reportedly been killed in more than a week of protests, including civilians and policemen, the Borna news agency, which is affiliated with the sports ministry, reported late on Friday, citing state television.

The official death toll from the clashes issued by the Iranian authorities remains at least 17, including five security personnel, while, the Oslo-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) NGO said the death toll was at least 50.

READ MORE: Iranian army vows to 'confront enemies' as deadly protests rage

Army issues warning

Iran's armed forces issued a stern warning that “hostile, anti-revolution groups and their domestic agents” will be "dealt seriously”.

In a separate statement, the army spokesman condemned what he termed "destruction of public property and disruption of security", calling it an "evil strategy of the enemy" to weaken the country.

Iran's intelligence ministry also warned that those joining protests against the death of Amini will face prosecution.

"Considering the exploitation of recent incidents by counter-revolutionary movements, any presence, and participation in such illegal gatherings will result in judicial prosecution," a ministry statement said.

Amini lives on

Protests erupted last week after the death of Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the country's morality police in Tehran for alleged violation of the country's dress code.

Amini spent three days in a coma after being detained.

Police deny mistreating Amini, saying she died of a heart attack. Her family said she had no pre-existing heart condition. Authorities have promised a thorough investigation into Amini's death.

The incident has drawn condemnation from many world leaders and human rights groups.

READ MORE: Iranian police call woman's custody death 'unfortunate' as protests erupt

Source: TRTWorld and agencies