Things have been tense in Iran, with most of the protests happening in Tehran and several other cities. This has sparked a lot of opinions from the government and people alike on what is causing the riots, with many blaming Israel and America for inciting the violence. The supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has finally chimed into these discussions and said that he believes some of this unrest can be traced back to Western sanctions against Iran.
Critical overview of Iran
“The enemies have started their plan against Iran and they have pressured the Iranian people with economic pressures,” said Khamenei during a meeting in Tehran. “The enemy should know that the people of Iran will confront [their] enemy with high resistance.”
“Armed provocations are being seen across the country, and I think they are linked to the behaviour of some foreign forces in recent weeks. They should know that we have prepared our domestic economy for any eventuality,” Khamenei added. He went on to blame Western sanctions, which hit all sectors of Iran’s economy since 2012, as well as continuous calls for regime change coming from Israel.
Khamenei has not been one to keep his opinions bottled up for long.
This article will explore these claims made by Khamenei as well as explore what role these sanctions play in Iranian society. It’s important to note that while there is no solid evidence proving US or Israeli involvement, they may be partially responsible for encouraging this type of unrest within Iran.
The sanctions against Iran and its oil industry, led by the United States, are crippling the country and many others who depend on oil sales. There are several theories as to why these sanctions are in place. Some believe that it is to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, while others believe it is due to Iranian support for terrorist groups such as Hamas. Whatever the reason for these actions some of their effects have been unintended.
As stated before, the sanctions have had a major impact on Iran’s own economy and overall stability. In the past year alone, the Iranian currency has lost more than half of its value and inflation has reached record highs of 50%. With the economy in such dire straits, it is no surprise that Iranians are starting to blame their leaders.
The government’s policies
The Iranian government has been known for years for its poor human rights record and oppressive policies. While economic trouble has not been an issue with previous administrations, things have changed under president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The man they have elected as the next supreme leader blames America and Israel for inciting the violence: “Some people are trying to take advantage of public opinion and exploit public anger,” Ali Khamenei said on Saturday in Tehran. “But I do not believe that it is possible to achieve such goals by abusing people’s religious sentiments. The supreme leader said Ms. Amini’s passing “broke our hearts” when speaking to police and armed forces cadets on Monday during their graduation ceremony.
Without identifying any specific occurrences, he continued, “But what is not typical is that certain people have made the streets hazardous, destroyed the Quran, ripped hijabs from veiled women, and set fire to mosques and cars.”
The supreme leader of the country, known as the ayatollah, claimed that foreign governments had plotted “rioting” because they could not stand the idea of Iran “attaining strength in all fields.
I state unequivocally that America, the invading, false Zionist dictatorship [Israel], as well as its paid operatives, helped by certain treasonous Iranians overseas, organized the riots and the unrest.
Iran’s supreme leader blames unrest on US and Israel – Saudi Gazette
Additionally, he expressed his complete support for the security forces, claiming that they had endured “injustice” during the riots.
A Norwegian organization called Iran Human Rights said on Sunday that security forces have so far killed at least 133 individuals. They include the 41 demonstrators who, according to ethnic Baluch groups, were killed during Friday’s riots in Zahedan.