Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has blamed the US and Israel for the protests that followed the death of Mahza Amini. A 22-year-old woman has died after being arrested for violating the strict dress code. According to Khamenei, the demonstrations were premeditated and he considered the involvement of ‘ordinary Iranians’ excluded. Violent protests continue in Iranian cities.
Khamenei said through state media that he was “heartbroken” by the 22-year-old woman’s death. According to him, some have seized on the “bitter incident” to create “security” and “riots”. The US and Israel and “their paid agents” allegedly received help from “treacherous Iranians abroad”.
Also Read | Iranian politicians thanked the police for Amini’s death
Iran has previously accused outside powers of fomenting the protests. Especially the US and allied countries. Last weekend, nine foreigners were reportedly arrested in connection with large-scale demonstrations. They come from the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy and Poland.
Also Read | Iran arrested several foreigners for the protests, including a Dutchman
Support to security forces
Iran’s leader also expressed his support for the security forces, who he says have been wronged. Since Amini’s death, Iran has been in turmoil and protests have taken place in several cities, with women cutting their hair and burning headscarves, police and security forces shooting at demonstrators and angry crowds venting their anger at officers and members of riot police. The wave of protests is Iran’s biggest in nearly three years and has killed dozens of people, including members of the security forces.
Also Read | Death toll rises as Iranian regime acts ‘resolutely’
Amini died days after being arrested for not wearing a hijab in accordance with the strict dress code. Iranian officials say the Kurdish woman died of heart problems, but relatives say she had none and was severely beaten. President Ibrahim Raisi has launched an investigation into Amini’s death.
Also Read | Death toll rises in Iran protests
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