As the protests in Iran enters its sixth week with no sign of abating, Iranian military brass continued to blame the protests on Western enemies. 

Commander-in-Chief of Iran’s traditional Army Abdolrahim Mousavi said on Friday that the United States and Israel seek to sow discord among different generations and ethnic groups.

“Seduction of the youth and discord between generations, ethnic groups, guilds and unions, political parties, classes of society, religions and sects, are the plots designed by the think tanks and research centers of the American and Zionist regime's intelligence apparatuses,” he said.

People from all the groups he mentioned have been holding protests or strikes against the clerical regime since 2017. A stronger and more enduring round of protests began in mid-September when Iran’s hijab police killed a 22-year-old woman. Mostly young demonstrators demand an end to the Islamic Republic and a democratic, secular government.

Ali Fadavi, the second highest commander in the Revolutionary Guard, said on Friday that the country’s ‘enemies’ that used to focus on ‘hard war’ against the Islamic Republic in the last decades have now adopted a hybrid approach, combined with soft power. He said popular art can be used to promote the Islamic Republic revolutionary ideology. 

IRGC’s Aerospace Force Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh also said on Friday, “We need to do creative and innovative works in the field of culture,” adding that “We have not done anything serious to celebrate and create a fresh and cheerful environment.”

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