A woman who cut her hair live on television in solidarity with female protesters in Iran has called on the British Government to stop trading with the Middle Eastern country.
Elika Ashoori, the daughter of Anoosheh Ashoori, who was released from an Iranian prison alongside Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in March, also said that her father’s release was related to Britain’s desire to trade oil with Iran.
Ms Ashoori cut her hair live on ITV’s Lorraine on Thursday to show solidarity with thousands of Iranians who have taken to the streets in protest at the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
Ms Amini had been detained by police in the capital Tehran for allegedly not adhering to Iran’s strict Islamic dress code.
Ms Ashoori told the PA news agency: “I know my father and Nazanin’s release was to do with oil. It wasn’t a coincidence that it was so soon after the Ukrainian war started.
“If (the British Government) stop trade with Iran, they can have an impact. They can cripple the Islamic Republic if they start freezing assets and stop issuing visas to government officials from Iran who are travelling here.
“There are people who live here as ambassadors of the Islamic Republic and are spreading propaganda for the regime here in the UK. They should not be allowed to be here.
“A lot of Iranian officials have assets all over the world. These should be seized because they are murderers. They are terrorists.
“And what does the world do with terrorists? Restrict their freedom of movement, restrict how they go about their business. That’s how we deal with any criminal organisation.”
Ms Ashoori said that western countries must resist the temptation to trade with Iran, especially with talks continuing over the Iran nuclear deal.
When she appeared on Lorraine, Ms Ashoori wore a t-shirt with the slogan of the movement – “woman, life, freedom” – in Persian.
Since Ms Amini’s death, many Iranian women have shared videos and pictures on social media of themselves cutting their hair or taking off their hijabs.
Ms Ashoori said that the hair-cutting started with Ms Amini’s family, as it is a sign of grief in the Kurdish part of Iran they are from.
It then spread across Iran as “an act of defiance towards the government. It was a way to show that it’s not because of the hair that we don’t want the hijab, it’s the choice”.
She also said that “more people need to be aware” of the situation in Iran.
“People changed their profile pictures to black with the murder of George Floyd. People changed their profile pictures to Ukraine flags with the war in Ukraine.
“This is the first female revolution of our lifetime. It’s predominantly young girls, aged 16 to 22.”