Khamenei blames 'enemies' for Iran protests

Iranian Unrest Protesters attack police stations

"In the recent days' incidents, enemies of Iran utilised various means - including money, weapons, politics and intelligence apparatuses - to create problems for the Islamic system", he said.

"The enemy is waiting for an opportunity, for a flaw, through which they can enter", Khamenei said in remarks Tuesday. The time for Iran was, however, more hard in 2009 as protests coincided with Arab revolts in the region.

The protests broke out Thursday night, with anger directed at the leadership that has been in power since the 1979 revolution, including supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the president Hassan Rouhani.

"Instead of wasting his time sending useless and insulting tweets regarding other countries, he would be better off seeing to the domestic issues of his own country such as daily killings of dozens of people. and the existence of millions of homeless and hungry people", Bahram Ghasemi said, according to AFP.

A regional official confirms that two people were killed in clashes in the western town of Dorud during an "illegal protest". Protestors have now taken issue with President Hassan Rouhani and the country's leaders for their failure to deliver economic growth after global sanctions were lifted following Obama's nuclear deal.

He said the "people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime".

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Despite professions of solidarity with the Iranian people, he said, the United States had actually insulted them by banning ordinary Iranians from entering the USA (under Mr Trump's travel ban) and with Mr Trump's refusal to certify an internationally agreed deal to limit Iran's nuclear programme.

The protests began over Iran's economy, which has improved since the nuclear deal that saw Iran agree to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the end of some worldwide sanctions.

He did not name the enemies but Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, said the United States, Britain and Saudi Arabia were behind the riots.

"We express the hope that the situation in #Iran won't develop under the scenario of bloodshed and violence", the embassy said, citing the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Early Tuesday, Iranian state TV reported that rioters had tried to break into a police station in the town of Qahdarijan to steal guns, leading to clashes that killed six people.

What are the protests about? .

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The protests began on December 28 in the city of Mashhad over the deteriorating economy and the rising cost of living for Iranian citizens. The demonstrations have also extended far beyond Tehran, Iran's capital and cultural center of gravity, to smaller, conservative cities throughout the country, indicating widespread dissatisfaction with the regime.

What makes the protests unprecedented is their scale and geographic scope, taking place in provincial areas as well as Tehran.

"We are encouraged by the Iranian people who are bravely exercising their basic right to protest peacefully".

Obama's muted support for Iranian protests in 2009 has also appeared to play a role in the Trump administration's' more vocal response.

The 2009 protests were also largely centered in Tehran, unlike this current round of protests which is stronger in provincial areas.

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