Protests in Iran over the in-custody death of Mahsa Amini entered the seventh week, as the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard warned protesters that Saturday will be their last day taking to the streets, per Reuters.
Why it matters: Hossein Salami's warning, which uses some of the toughest language since the demonstrations began last month, is a sign that security forces may intensify their crackdown on unrest rocking the country.
What he's saying: "Do not come to the streets! Today is the last day of the riots," Salami said, according to Reuters.
"This sinister plan, is a plan hatched ... in the White House and the Zionist regime," Salami said, cementing that Iran's clerical leadership blames its foreign enemies, including the U.S., for the protests.
The big picture: Protesters have already faced an increasingly hardened government crackdown, including deadly violence by security forces, mass arrests and internet restrictions in what has become the largest demonstration against the regime in years.
The nonprofit Iran Human Rights estimated Friday that 24 children were among the at least 253 people killed in the protests since they began in mid-September.
Flashback: Amini, 22, died in police custody after she was arrested by Iran's morality police for violating the country's mandatory head-scarf law.
Her death has sparked weeks-long protests across dozens of cities throughout the country.
Iran's government has responded to the unrest by restricting internet access, and authorities have responded with tear gas and use of force