It has been nearly one month since the rise of popular protests in several parts of Iran, yet senior Iranian officials continue to accuse foreign parties of standing behind these demonstrations in the Iranian streets.
The latest of these accusations was from Iranian Judiciary Chief Sadegh Larijani, who did not address the internal reasons behind the protests and said that the United States has invested millions of dollars in order to provoke "unrest and destabilization as it seeks to overthrow the regime."
Iran’s former reformist President Mohammad Khatami, for his part, said that the protests were caused by a decline in popular confidence in governors and political movements, including his reformist movement.
In an address to a meeting of senior Judiciary officials in Tehran on Monday, Larijani said that during the recent incidents, “some newspapers and people were saying that such events usually occur in every society."
"Is there really no problem with chaos, sabotage and extraordinary (anti-regime) attitudes?” Larijani asked.
In December 28, protests broke out in the city of Mashhad under the slogan "No for hike in prices," soon after that, 80 Iranian cities witnessed spontaneous protests that turned from slogans calling for improving the living situation to slogans calling for the overthrow of the regime and death of senior officials, most notably the Iranian Supreme leader.
Relative calm returned to Iranian cities after 10 days of clashes between security forces and protesters. Revolutionary Guards Commander Mohammad Ali Jaafari said his forces partly intervened in three provinces that witnessed widespread protests.
He called on “closing the road of infiltration by learning from various events."
"We do not allow some to reduce the cost of unrest and chaos because we believe that reducing the cost of unrest for the anarchists threatens security, competence and popular rights."
Contrary to what officials said regarding the release of protesters, Larijani said that "the bad guys and the saboteurs in the recent protests will definitely receive the punishment they deserve."
Larijani claimed that the Iranian regime is an alternative to the liberal democratic system, pointing out that the Iranian behavior at the regional and international levels, which is opposed by the United States, is a result of this alternative system.
He noted that US has publicly and clearly stated that it seeks regime change in Iran. This, he said, is a sign of its enmity towards Iran.
He said that these realities make it necessary for the Iranian officials and nation to remain vigilant about US overt and covert plans to infiltrate and weaken Iran.