Iran supreme leader claims protests a US-backed ‘conspiracy’

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei described the protests as being orchestrated by ‘global arrogance.’ (Reuters)
Updated 27 November 2019

Iran supreme leader claims protests a US-backed ‘conspiracy’

  • Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the comment while addressing members of the Revolutionary Guard’s all-volunteer Basij force
  • Khamenei, who has final say on all matters of state, described the protests as being orchestrated by ‘global arrogance’

DUBAI: Iran’s supreme leader on Wednesday claimed without evidence that recent protests across the Islamic Republic over government-set gasoline prices rising were part of a “conspiracy” involving the US, as authorities began to acknowledge the scale of the demonstrations.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the comment while addressing members of the Revolutionary Guard’s all-volunteer Basij force, which help put down the demonstrations.
Meanwhile, one lawmaker was quoted as saying authorities arrested more than 7,000 people over the protests while a security official claimed demonstrators attempted to take over Iranian state television.
Iran’s government still hasn’t offered any statistics on injuries, arrests or deaths in the protests and security crackdown that followed government-set gasoline prices rising Nov. 15. Amnesty International says it believes the violence killed at least 143 people, something Iran disputes without offering any evidence to support its claims.
In his comments reported by state media, Khamenei said the Iranian people extinguished “a very dangerous deep conspiracy that cost so much money and effort.” He praised the police, the Guard and the Basij for “entering the field and carrying out their task.”
Khamenei, who has final say on all matters of state, described the protests as being orchestrated by “global arrogance,” which he uses to refer to the US He described America as getting slapped by the authorities’ response.
Wednesday marks the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Basij. Videos from the protest purport to show plainclothes Basij officials and others on motorcycles beating and detaining protesters.


Rouhani: Iran will bypass US sanctions or overcome them through talks

Updated 26 min 45 sec ago

Rouhani: Iran will bypass US sanctions or overcome them through talks

  • Tensions have soared between Tehran and Washington since last year
  • The Islamic Republic has rejected negotiating a new deal with the Trump administration

DUBAI: Iran will overcome US sanctions by either bypassing them or through negotiations, and it will not cross its red lines in any talks with arch-adversary Washington, President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday.
Tensions have soared between Tehran and Washington since last year, when President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six powers and reimposed sanctions on Tehran that have crippled its oil-based economy.
The Islamic Republic has rejected negotiating a new deal with the Trump administration, saying talks are only possible if Washington returns to the nuclear pact and lifts sanctions.
“The government is determined to defeat (the enemy) by bypassing America’s sanctions...or through various means including talks, but we will not cross our red lines,” the semi-official Iranian news agency ISNA quoted Rouhani as saying. In a rare act of cooperation between Tehran and Washington, the United States and Iran each freed a prisoner on Saturday.
Washington said it was hopeful that the prisoner swap would lead to the release of other Americans held in Iran and that it was a sign Tehran was willing to discuss other issues.
Iran released Xiyue Wang, a US citizen who had been held for three years on spying charges, while the United States freed Iranian Massoud Soleimani, who had faced charges of violating US sanctions against Tehran.
Iran said on Monday there were about 20 Iranians jailed in the United States in cases linked to sanctions violations.