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Britney Spears vs Iran: Embattled state questions singer's 'mental health' for supporting protesters

Britney Spears recently tweeted that she and her Iranian-American husband Sam Asghari 'stand with the people of Iran fighting for freedom'
UPDATED OCT 20, 2022
Pictured (L-R): Britney Spears (inset), Iran President Ebrahim Raisi (Photos by Anna Moneymaker & Michelangelo Di Battista/Getty Images)
Pictured (L-R): Britney Spears (inset), Iran President Ebrahim Raisi (Photos by Anna Moneymaker & Michelangelo Di Battista/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Iran's state-run media is coming after Britney Spears after the troubled star voiced her support for women's rights protests in the country.

The Princess of Pop tweeted on Sunday, October 16, that she and her Iranian-American husband Sam Asghari "stand with the people of Iran fighting for freedom." Spears, 40, tied the knot with actor and model Asghari, 28, in June. Responding to the pop star's message, the Islamic Republic News Agency pointed out Spears' years-long conservatorship, an arrangement that ended last year, hinting at her mental health issues.


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"American singer Britney Spears was placed under her father’s conservatorship in 2008 due to her mental health problems' on their official twitter account," the Islamic Republic News Agency tweeted. "That gave Britney’s father control over her finances and even her personal life aspects such as pregnancy, remarriage and visits to her teenage sons." The post featured a screengrab of a separate reply to Spears' tweet from another Twitter user who wrote, "Nice talk. Can you manage your own money yet?"


As mentioned, the tweet came after Spears voiced her support for women's rights protests in Iran. "Me & my husband stand with the people of Iran fighting for freedom," she tweeted on Sunday, October 16.


The scathing response by IRNA appeared to be questioning whether the pop star was mentally fit to question the turmoil that has gripped the nation, which is run by a council of hardline Islamic clerics. This comes after Asghari posted a video to his Instagram in September sharing why he supported the protests in Iran. "After 1979, the Islamic Republic regime took over and forced its ideology, propaganda and dictatorship on the people," he said in the clip. "It slaughtered, murdered and stole from innocent people."


Iranian women have been staging daily protests against gendered oppression following the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old who died in police custody after being arrested for allegedly violating the Islamic nation's stringent morality laws that require women to cover their hair. According to the Daily Mail, the IRNA has repeatedly tried to shift blame from the police and claimed Amini died from a heart attack. Her family, on the other hand, allege she was beaten to death while in custody.


Several celebrities have thrown their support behind the women protesting in Iran, one of them being Meghan Markle. The Duchess of Sussex made a surprise appearance at Spotify's headquarters on Tuesday, October 18, and spoke in support of the protests while sporting a shirt emblazoned with the words "Women, Life, Freedom" written in Farsi


Meghan also brought along two executive members of her foundation Archewell -- executive vice president of global communications Ashley Hansen, and president Mandana Dayani, both of whom are of Iranian descent. "As an Iranian woman who fled her home country in pursuit of these very freedoms, I could not have been more grateful for how she chooses, again and again, to advocate for women around the world," Dayani said of the royal. 


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The women's rights protests in Iran have drawn schoolgoing children, oil workers, and other civilians to the streets. The mass upheaval has been described as the most serious threat to Iran's theocracy since the mass protests following its disputed 2009 presidential election. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, authorities have detained at least 40 journalists across the nation.


Iranian government officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have maintained that foreign adversaries are responsible for the ongoing demonstrations instead of citizens outraged by Amini's death. Meanwhile, Iranians have seen their life savings disappear as the country's currency -- the rial -- plummetted and its nuclear deal with world powers fell apart.