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Photo: MOHAMMED SAWAF/AFP via Getty Images

About 1,500 people have reportedly been killed in Iran's recent crackdown on protests, including at least 17 teenagers and about 400 women, according to Iranian government sources who spoke to Reuters.

Why it matters: The alleged death toll is higher than any other official estimates provided thus far. Amnesty International reported in November that 304 people had been killed "as authorities crushed protests using lethal force" in November, while U.S. Iran envoy Brian Hook said earlier this month that the Iranian government "could have murdered over 1,000 Iranian citizens."

The big picture: Reuters reports that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told close advisers last month that "the Islamic Republic is in danger," and that he ordered authorities to stop the protests by any means necessary. That order has led to the deadliest crackdown on protests in Iran since the country's revolution in 1979.

  • A spokesman for Iran’s Supreme National Security Council called the death toll reported by Reuters “fake news,” according to Iranian news agency Tasnim.

Go deeper: U.S. and Israeli national security advisers discuss unrest in Iran

Go deeper

Updated 45 mins ago - World

Australia joins U.S. in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Australia is joining the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in protest of human rights abuses committed by China's government, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: After the Biden administration's announcement that U.S. officials won't attend the Games due to the ongoing genocide of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region of China, Morrison said at a Sydney briefing that Australia would follow suit as "it's the right thing to do."

Progressives to file resolution to strip Boebert's committee seats

Rep. Lauren Boebert walking through the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House progressives are planning to introduce a resolution on Wednesday to strip Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) of her committee assignments, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The move, which was first reported by the Washington Post, comes as progressives — anxious to see the right-wing firebrand face retribution for her recent comments — have grown frustrated by Democratic leadership's inaction on the issue.

Roger Stone won't cooperate with Jan. 6 panel

Longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone speaking in front of the Supreme Court on Jan. 5 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone won't cooperate with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and will invoke the Fifth Amendment right not to testify, his attorney said Tuesday evening.

Why it matters: The announcement, first reported by ABC News, came hours after former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said he wouldn't cooperate with the probe.