Britain, US failed to cause Iran unrest, claims Khamenei

Protests in Iran spread to more than 80 cities. (Handout via Reuters)
Updated 09 January 2018
0

Britain, US failed to cause Iran unrest, claims Khamenei

BEIRUT/LONDON: Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claimed on Tuesday that Iran had foiled attempts by the US and Britain to create unrest during a wave of protests across more than 80 cities.
“The enemy now repeatedly makes moves and they are defeated each time,” Khamenei was quoted as saying by state media, according to Reuters. “It’s because of the resistance, because of the strong populist and national dam.”
Khamenei tweeted, “Once again, the nation tells the US, Britain, and those who seek to overthrow the Islamic Republic of Iran from abroad that ‘you’ve failed, and you will fail in the future, too’.” 
The protests were widely linked to the economic and political situation in Iran as well as its foreign policy.
A UK Foreign Office spokeswoman declined to comment on Khamenei's claim, referring to a previous statement by British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
Johnson said on Jan. 1 that there should be “meaningful debate about the legitimate and important issues the protesters are raising.”
He added: “People should be able to have freedom of expression and to demonstrate peacefully within the law. We regret the loss of life that has occurred in the protests in Iran, and call on all concerned to refrain from violence and for international obligations on human rights to be observed.”
Protests in Iran spread to more than 80 cities since late December and at least 21 people died.
An Iranian reformist lawmaker said Tuesday that some 3,700 people were arrested in the days of the protests, offering a far higher number than authorities previously released, according to AP.


Iran sentences 3 rights lawyers to prison

Updated 6 min 19 sec ago
0

Iran sentences 3 rights lawyers to prison

  • The two were arrested in August when they took part in a protest outside parliament calling for free elections
  • The Hamshari daily meanwhile reported that a court in the central city of Arak sentenced another lawyer to 13 years in prison

TEHRAN: Iran has sentenced two human rights lawyers to six years in prison and a third to 13 years, newspapers reported Tuesday.
The Arman daily said Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi and Arash Keikhosravi were sentenced to five years in prison for taking part in an “illegal gathering” and one year for “propaganda” against the ruling system. It says they can appeal the verdict.
The two were arrested in August when they took part in a protest outside parliament calling for free elections. They were released on bail last week.
Sholeh-Saadi, 64, a longtime critic of the political establishment, was barred from running for president in 2017.
Iran holds regular presidential and parliamentary elections, but a council of clerics vets candidates. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the final word on all major policies.
The Hamshari daily meanwhile reported that a court in the central city of Arak sentenced another lawyer to 13 years in prison.
It said Mohammad Najafi was sentenced to 10 years for “conveying information to a hostile country” through interviews with foreign media, two years for insulting the supreme leader and one year for publicity in support of opposition groups.
Najafi was jailed in January when he voiced support for people detained that month during anti-government protests. The demonstrations, which focused on economic grievances, lasted for days and resulted in the deaths of dozens and the arrest of hundreds more.