Authorities warn filmmakers, athletes, musicians and actors, who have backed demonstrations against the custodial death of Mahsa Amini, against fanning the "flames of the riots."

A pro-government woman holds the Iranian flag during a rally against the recent protest gatherings in Iran.
A pro-government woman holds the Iranian flag during a rally against the recent protest gatherings in Iran. (Reuters)

Iran has stepped up pressure on celebrities and journalists over the wave of women-led protests sparked by outrage over the death of Mahsa Amini after she was arrested by the country's police.

Filmmakers, athletes, musicians and actors have backed the demonstrations, and many saw it as a signal when the national football team remained in their black tracksuits when the anthems were played before a match in Vienna against Senegal.

"We will take action against the celebrities who have fanned the flames of the riots," Tehran provincial governor Mohsen Mansouri said, according to the ISNA news agency.

Iran's judiciary chief Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei similarly charged that "those who became famous thanks to support from the system have joined the enemy when times are difficult".

The warnings came after almost two weeks of protests across Iran and a deadly crackdown that human rights group Amnesty International says has been marked by "ruthless violence by security forces".

Fars news agency has said "around 60" people had been killed.

Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights has reported a death toll of at least 83 people, including children.

READ MORE: Iran's Raisi accuses US of stoking unrest after Mahsa Amini's death

Iran blames outside forces 

Public anger flared after Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, died on September 16, three days after her arrest for allegedly breaching Iran's strict rules for women on wearing hijab headscarves and modest clothing.

"Woman, Life, Freedom!" protesters have chanted ever since, in Iran's biggest demonstrations in almost three years, in which women have defiantly burned their headscarves and cut their hair.

President Ebrahim Raisi warned that, despite "grief and sorrow" over Amini's death, public security "is the red line of the Islamic Republic of Iran and no one is allowed to break the law and cause chaos".

Iran on Thursday slammed "interference" in its internal affairs by France over a statement in support of the protests, having earlier complained to Britain and Norway.

Solidarity protests with Iranian women have been held worldwide, and rallies are planned in 70 cities on Saturday.

Iran has blamed outside forces, including the US, for the protests and on Wednesday launched cross-border missile and drone strikes that killed 13 people in Iraq's Kurdistan region, accusing armed groups based there of fuelling the unrest.

The US on Thursday said one of its citizens had been killed in the Iranian strikes, separately announcing the fresh enforcement of sanctions on Tehran's oil sales.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said he told Western diplomats at recent UN meetings that the protests were "not a big deal" for the stability of the country.

"There is not going to be regime change in Iran," he told National Public Radio in New York on Wednesday. "Don't play to the emotions of the Iranian people."

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

Source: AFP