Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said the Islamic Republic is a guarantor of rights and freedoms and has defended the country's system of governance amid a crackdown on anti-government protests that the UN says have already claimed more than 300 lives, BTA reported, citing to Reuters.

Iran's top state security agency, meanwhile, said 200 people, including members of the security services, had died in the unrest.

The protests, which are now in their third month, were sparked by the death of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who was arrested by morality police enforcing strict headscarf rules.

The protests have turned into a nationwide uprising by angry Iranians from all walks of life, and it is one of the biggest challenges to clerical rule since the 1979 revolution, according to Reuters.

Over 300 people have died in the unrest in Iran

"Iran has the most progressive constitution in the world," as it combines "ideals with democracy," Raisi told lawmakers.

"The constitution guarantees (the existence of) the Islamic system," he said, adding that it also "guarantees fundamental rights and legitimate freedoms."

Last Monday, a senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards said 300 people had died in the unrest, including members of the security services.

An independent expert appointed by the United Nations said the death toll was more than 300, including 40 children.

The human rights group Information Agency "Human Rights Activists" reported yesterday that 469 protesters died, including 64 minors.

She added that 61 government security personnel were also killed.

It is estimated that up to 18,210 people were detained at the protests.



Ebrahim Raisi