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Deaths, Injuries, Arrests… Khamenei Accuses 'Enemies'

Deaths, Injuries, Arrests… Khamenei Accuses 'Enemies'

Wednesday, 3 January, 2018 - 07:45
Photo circulated on social media shows protesters confronting security forces in Kermanshah

With the rise in the number of deaths, injuries and arrests on Tuesday during Iran’s sixth day of anti-government protests, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei broke his silence by pouring his anger on whom he described as “the enemies,” accusing outside parties of inciting the Iranians to demonstrate against a surge in the prices of basic food supplies and the regime’s bad regional policy.

Angry protesters challenged the threats of high-ranking Iranian officials by taking to the streets in several parts of Tehran and in the provinces of Ahvaz, Hamdan and Isfahan.

Official reports said 21 people were killed in Tuyserkan in the province of Hamdan, in Ahvaz's Izeh and in Qahderijan that lies in Isfahan, where more than 70 people were also arrested.

Activists circulated videos showing security forces firing tear gas on protesters, sending dozens to medical facilities.

In a sign of the police failure to contain the security situation, Brigadier General Ismael Kuthari, vice-commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Tharullah, said: “We will not allow, in any way, the lack of security in Tehran.”

Until Tuesday night, the Supreme Leader was the most important absent player from the earthquake of the marginalized Iranians. But, instead of seeking to calm down protesters, he chose to accuse outside forces of inciting the demonstrations.

"The enemies have united and are using all their means, money, weapons... to create problems for the Islamic regime," he said.

Meanwhile, the international community is closely watching events in Iran.

In this regard, US President Donald Trump praised on Tuesday the protesters and said they were acting against Iran's “brutal and corrupt” regime.

For his part, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his "regret" at the rising death toll in the anti-government protests, and called on Tehran to respect the rights of peaceful protesters.

Also, on Tuesday, France echoed the concerns of the UN chief after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani telephoned his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron to demand action against a “terrorist” Iranian opposition group he accused of fomenting ongoing protests.

Iranian media said Rouhani had asked France to act against Mujahideen exiles working against the Iranian establishment from Paris.

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