Iran’s Khamenei blames Israel and US in first comments on protests

The supreme leader called the anti-government protests, which began after the death of Mahsa Amini,

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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, has accused the United States and Israel of protests that have seized the country for over two weeks, accusing them of attempting to halt Iran’s “development”.

Khamenei labeled the “riots” the largest anti-government demonstrations Iran has witnessed on Monday.

Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, died in the custody of Iran’s morality police last month, sparking the demonstrations. The 83-year-old leader had kept mute about the unrest.

Khamenei addressed graduating cadets at a police university in Tehran, “I declare openly that these riots and this insecurity were orchestrated by the United States and the occupying, phony Zionist state [Israel] and those who are paid by them, with the assistance of certain treasonous Iranians overseas.”

“In the accident that occurred, a young woman died, which also saddened us, but reactions to her death before inquiries… Khamenei addressed this while accompanied by the police, army, and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) heads.

If not for Amini’s murder, Khamenei claimed, another “excuse” would have been found to destabilize Iran.

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