Khamenei blames US, Israel for inciting unrest

ANI | Updated: Jan 09, 2018 23:51 IST

Tehran [Iran], Jan 9 (ANI): Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday blamed the United States and Israel for inciting the December 28 anti-government protests that have engulfed different parts of the country.

The ISNA agency quoted the leader as saying that the plot for the recent unrests in Iran was being done by the US and Israel.

Khamenei said, "The money for carrying out the plot was provided by Saudi, one of the rich states in the Persian Gulf region".

He also went on to blame the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), which also contributed to the ongoing protests in Iran. The MKO is a terrorist group banned by the Iranian government.

Khamenei also described the recent wave of violence that hit some areas of the country as "fireworks and vicious acts".

The comments come after a day, after the government reportedly arrested its former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in south-central Iran's Shiraz for making provocative statements at a rally, that instigated the unrest.

Iran is still witnessing a wave of demonstrations, being held in many cities across the country as people took to raising anti-government slogans, over alleged corruption and rising prices that plagued the people of the country earlier this week.

Khamenei on last week, also said that he blamed the country's 'enemies' to instigate the ongoing anti-government protests. However, he said that he would name them at a 'suitable time'.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in last week that the people of Iran were free to protest peacefully, but rejected protesting by violence.

The US President Donald Trump earlier dubbed the Iranian regime as "brutal" and "corrupt".

"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", Trump wrote on Twitter.

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had also wished the Iranian people- "success in their noble quest for freedom."

The country has deployed Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Forces and Afghan mercenaries in order to stem the anti-government protests. The authorities have blocked two popular social media apps- Telegram and Instagram, as a security measure.

Also, three protesters were reportedly shot dead by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in central Iran last week. More casualties are feared as well.

The official death toll in the anti-government protests is, as of now, 20. Thousands of protesters have been arrested in the last few days. (ANI)