Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says the “enemies of Iran” are behind the deadly protests rocking his dictatorial government.
“In recent days, enemies of Iran used different tools including cash, weapons, politics and intelligence apparatus to create troubles for the Islamic Republic,” Khamenei said, according to Reuters.
Which enemies was the supreme leader citing? Khamenei was not specific, but other Iranian officials are not quite so circumspect. According to Reuters, the Tehran regime is blaming the U.S., Saudi Arabia and the U.K. are sponsoring the mayhem in Iran.
The protests initially started over financial issues, but the grievances rapidly spread to include the lack of political freedom in the Islamic republic.
The Trump administration has been adamant over the past few days in its support of the protests and condemnation of Iranian authoritarianism. President Donald Trump has applauded the grassroots initiative against the “brutal and corrupt” Iranian government.
“The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime. All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their ‘pockets.’ The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!” he tweeted.
On New Year’s Day, the president suggested the combination of economic catastrophe and political repression in Iran would lead to a new day.
“They are hungry for food & for freedom. Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted. TIME FOR CHANGE!”