An aide to Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi says that recent protests “instigated by enemies” posed a “serious security challenge” to the Islamic Republic regime.
Mohammad Dehghan, the president’s legal aide was quoted by Fars news website Friday as saying that the “enemy succeeded” to instigate the “unprecedented” protests” carried out “by some elements who sold themselves out and some who were deceived.”
The Islamic Republic uses the term “enemy” to refer to the United States and its European and regional allies.”
As early as October, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei blamed enemies for the protests that began in mid-September when Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who received fatal brain injuries in ‘hijab police’ custody and died in hospital.
Immediately, young people and especially women began protests across the country against the Islamic regime’s mandatory hijab and other restrictions and demanded an end to religious rule.
After Khamenei blamed the protest movement on foreigners, other senior officials began making the same claim and tried to accuse detained protesters of links with foreign countries.
Raisi’s aide also claimed that tens of security forces killed during protests “were unarmed,” while thousands of videos and photos show how they used all sorts of weapons, including shotguns, pistols and even assault rifles to shoot protesters. Over 500 civilians have been killed and hundreds injured, with scores losing one or both eyes.
The United States and its European allies have strongly condemned Tehran for the violent suppression of the protests and imposed multiple sanctions on Islamic Republic officials and entities.