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Iran's supreme leader accuses US, Israel of being behind the nationwide protests

DW, 04 Oct 2022
Iran's ultraconservative Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei threw his full support behind the security forces on Monday, accusing the protesters of "rioting." He also said that the US and Israel were behind the protests rather than "ordinary Iranians." He claimed to be "heartbroken" over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini — the incident that initially sparked the nationwide protests — while also condemning the "insecurity" in the streets. "This rioting was planned," he told a cadre of police students in Tehran. "These riots and insecurities were designed by America and the Zionist regime, and their employees."

Official warns of 'destabilizing' protests
Iran's parliamentary speaker, Bagher Qalibaf, urged protesters not to allow the demonstrations to become "destabilizing" for the country and promised to "amend the structures" of the country's morality police. Qalibaf is a former influential commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guard. "The important point of the [past,] protests was that they were reform-seeking and not aimed at overthrowing" the system, Qalibaf said, referring to protests by teachers and retirees over pay. "I ask all who have any [reasons to] protest not to allow their protest to turn into destabilizing and toppling" of institutions. "Creating chaos in the streets will weaken social integrity, jeopardizing the economy while increasing pressure and sanctions by the enemy,'' Qalibaf said, referring to sanctions imposed by Washington. The lawmaker promised that Tehran would "amend the structures and methods of the morality police" in response to the protests.

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