Iran’s Supreme Leader Blames Israel, US in First Public Comment on Protests
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei responded publicly on Monday, October 3, to the biggest protests in Iran in years, breaking weeks of silence to condemn what he called “rioting”, and accuse the US and Israel of planning the protests.
Khamenei said he was “heartbroken” by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of Iran’s morality police, which set off the nationwide protests, calling her death a “sad incident.”
However, he sharply condemned the protests as a foreign plot to destabilize Iran, echoing authorities’ previous comments. “This rioting was planned,” he told a cadre of police students in Tehran. “These riots and insecurities were designed by America and the Zionist regime, and their employees.”
He described scenes of protesters ripping off their state-mandated headscarves and setting fire to mosques, banks and police cars as “not normal” and “unnatural.” His comments come as nationwide protests sparked by Amini’s death entered the third week despite the government’s efforts to crack down. (TOI / VFI News)
“God, we ask that you shield us and our allies from false allegations that are made to distract people from devastating events, and that you help establish the truth about our intentions and loyalties.”