IRAN has deployed an all-female unit of police commandos in bid to break protests sweeping the country after the brutal killing of a young woman over her hijab.
Mahsa's death sparked a wave of protests against the country's strict laws which have been viciously cracked down upon by Tehran - with at least 26 people killed as civilians fight back against cops.
And it comes as Iran's vicious Revolutionary Guard have vowed an even more vicious crackdown on the protesters which are being backed by women's rights figures worldwide.
Iran is claimed to have deployed an elite unit of all-female commando cops in a bid to bust the protests - with many demonstrators waving and burning their headscarves while shouting "death to the dictator".
Women were welcomed into Iranian law enforcement for the first time since the 1979 revolution in 2003.
Its estimated there are around 7,000 female cops working for the ruthless regime.
And they are now being asked to help prop up the anti-women repression which the protesters are fighting against.
It is believed the undercover unit of female cops will be working to infiltrate the protests to target ringleaders.
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Iran's current president Ebrahim Raisi is known as The Butcher - who in political purges has allegedly ordered the torture of pregnant women, had prisoners thrown off cliffs, had people flogged with electric cords, and oversaw countless other brutal acts of violence.
The unit's leader - Colonel Heydari - is reported to have told local media her unit has been deployed to tackle the protesters.
"The arrival of our women's police force is to bring peace," she said.
"I'm sorry to see other women in these protests carrying out illegal actions that are inconsistent with social rules.
"We are here to oppose them in accordance with procedures based on Islamic values."
The Faraja Public Service Organisation - which set up the woman's unit - is part of the Iranian Armed Forces closely connected with the Police Command of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and enforces the country's strict laws.
Colonel Heydari said that the first mission of the special women's unit had involved singling out the leaders of the protest action, and photographing anybody that was seen violating the regime rules or who were suspected of spreading chaos and confusion.
GUNS & AMMO
The video was part of an interview with the semi-official Mehr news agency, where the commander of the "special women's unit" said that "eight female leaders" of the protest had been arrested on Tuesday night.
The women had been on the ground among the protesters in order to help control the unrest.
Pictures from the graduation ceremonies for Iranian female police officers show them wielding weapons which appear to be MP5s and AK-47s.
They are seen in full traditional dress - while sporting the green and gold of the Iranian Police.
Other photos also show them abseiling down buildings, wielding pistols and shooting while hanging from the windows of police cars.
Iran's female police recruits are aged between 17 and 23.
And they are enlisted into a three year training programme which includes guns, judo, fencing and explosives.
Female officers are understood to also work for The Guidance Patrol who are in charge of enforcing their strict interpretation of Islamic law.
At least one video has emerged in the last few days showing female officers harassing a protester who is waving her veil in front of them as they attempt to wrestle her to the ground.
Iran is being swept by public outrage over the death of Mahsa, 22, who is believed to have been beaten over the head with a police baton.
She was allegedly detained for having some hair visible under her headscarf - which Iranian women are legally required to wear.
Female protestors have burned hijabs in the street and many people have been injured.
The widespread scenes of unrest have seen authorities cut off access to WhatsApp and Instagram in a bid to stop footage of protests from being shared.
Meanwhile, the country's Revolutionary Guard is preparing to clamp down on rioters.
In a haunting message, the elite branch of the armed forces called for the prosecution of “those who spread false news and rumours” about Mahsa’s death.
The unit has also requested the courts identify people taking to the streets "who endanger the psychological safety of society and deal with them decisively."
The response to protests from the authorities has been harsh and members of paramilitary groups like the Revolutionary Guard and Basij militia have been spotted beating protestors with bats.
These groups are separate from the Iranian Army but have previously been used by the country's dictatorial Islamic regime to suppress protests.
But Iran's Army today warned it would "confront the enemies" to ensure "security and peace" in the country, according to a statement.
The army said "these desperate actions are part of the evil strategy of the enemy to weaken the Islamic regime".
Some 280 rioters were arrested while around 26 people have been killed, according to Iranian media.
Among those killed was Hananeh Kia, who was struck by a stray bullet apparently fired by Iranian police as they opened fire on rioters, independent Iranian news platform Iranwire reports.
The 23-year-old was on her way home in the city of Nowshahr on Wednesday evening when she was hit in the side and died on the spot, her family said.
The US government has imposed sanctions on the morality police and leaders of other Iranian security agencies, saying they routinely employ violence to suppress peaceful protesters.
Iranian police claim Mahsa died of a heart attack and was not mistreated, but it is widely reported she was severely beaten by cops.
The US Treasury has hit the leaders of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security, the Army's Ground Forces, the Basij Resistance Forces, and other law enforcement agencies with sanctions.
It means they will be denied access to their properties and bank accounts held in the US.
Mahsa died on September 16 after she was reportedly beaten into a coma by the police.