‘Do whatever it takes to end it,’ Ayatollah Khamenei cited as telling his lieutenants as bloodshed unravelled. The brutal crackdown on the November protests in Iran came on a direct order from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Reuters reported on Monday, citing sources close to his inner circle.

The order was reportedly issued two days into the unrest, when Ayatollah Khamenei gathered his top security officials for a meeting in his Tehran residence.

Losing his patience with the protesters after they burned his photographs and called for the exiled Shah’s successor to return, an angry Khamenei told his lieutenants: “The Islamic Republic is in danger. Do whatever it takes to end it.”

Reuters also provided an updated account on the death toll, provided by an Iranian official, who collected the data from security forces, morgues and medics.

According to the assessment, some 1,500 people were killed in the crackdown, including at least 17 teenagers and 400 women.

The figure is way above the estimates by Amnesty International,which put its latest death toll estimate at 304 people killed.

It comes closer to the statements coming from US officials, however, with US Special Representative on Iran Brian Hook saying earlier that over 1,000 may have been killed