Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Iran’s Khamenei Says Protests, Riots Were ‘Planned’

Iran’s Khamenei Says Protests, Riots Were ‘Planned’

Monday, 3 October, 2022 - 10:00
A Lebanese activist holds a poster depicting deceased Mahsa Amini during a protest organized by feminist groups in support of women protesters in Iran, following Amini's death, outside the Lebanese National Museum in Beirut, Lebanon, 02 October 2022. (EPA)

Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei responded publicly on Monday to the biggest protests in Iran in years, breaking weeks of silence to condemn the violent rioting and accuse protests of being planned by the US and Israel.

Khamenei described the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of Iran's morality police, which set off the nationwide protests, as “a sad incident” that “left us heartbroken.” However, he sharply condemned the protests as a foreign plot to destabilize Iran, echoing authorities' previous comments.

“This rioting was planned,” he told a cadre of police students in Tehran. “I say clearly that these riots and insecurities were designed by America and the Zionist regime, and their employees.”

He added of the protests: “Such actions are not normal, are unnatural.”

His comments come as nationwide protests sparked by Amini's death entered their third week despite the government’s efforts to crack down.

Editor Picks