Enemies lurking for any opportunity to hit Iranian nation

Sergio Conner
January 13, 2018

Iran's leaders believe they can count on support from numerous generation that took part in the 1979 revolution due to their ideological commitment and the economic gains they have made under the government, analysts say.

Iran´s UN Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo said in a letter that the USA government "has stepped up its acts of intervention in a grotesque way in Iran´s internal affairs and accused Washington of violating global law and the principles of the UN charter. You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time!" the president, penned down, in a Twitter post. It was not immediately clear what assistance Trump had in mind.

On Tuesday, in his first public remarks since the rallies erupted, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blamed external "enemies" for the turmoil.

Anger over rising living costs, the state of the economy, and allegations of political corruption are fueling the demonstrations, which have now spread to several cities across the country. He said the Guard had deployed limited numbers of troops in Isfahan, Larestan and Hamadan.

The nationwide protests pose one of the biggest challenges to its religious and civilian leadership since the unrest in 2009 that shook the theocratic nation.

The demonstrations, which began last week, are the most serious since unrest in 2009 that followed the disputed re-election of then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

At least 21 people have died in the protests.

"In the recent days' events, the enemies of Iran allied with each other by employing various tools at their disposal, including money, weapon, politics and security organizations, in order to cause problem for the Islamic Establishment", the Leader said.

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Iran's economic growth rebounded to more than 12 per cent a year ago after sanctions were lifted under a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, but analysts say much of the windfall has come from renewed oil sales that generate few jobs.

Britain, Germany, Sweden, and Turkey have all expressed concern over the deaths of protesters and urged the Iranian government to respect people's rights. The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. "The US is watching!" he added.

- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018The Trump administration has publicly said it supports peaceful protesters demonstrating against the Iranian government. The semi-official Tasnim news, which is close to the elite Revolutionary Guards, published a photo that it said showed a protester setting fire to the Iranian flag.

"There are certainly Iranians who aren´t happy with certain policies, frustrated people who would like to protest against their economic situation, but history shows none of these people support violence and subversion", he said.

That could be more risky for the authorities because they have regarded the less well-off as loyal to the Islamic republic, as opposed to the more middle class protesters who took to the streets nine years ago. Also, weakening of the Iranian government could lead to more chaos in the already volatile Middle East. "As a result, three were wounded, and one was martyred," Saeed Montazer al-Mahdi was quoted as saying by Iranian state television. The National Security Council has chose to block social media and messaging apps to restrict the flow of information.

More than 450 people have been arrested in Tehran alone since Saturday, with 90 per cent aged under 25.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Bahram Ghasemi said this in reaction to Trump's tweets about Iran in which he called the nation "hungry for food".

He also told VOA that Khamenei's comments are consistent with the government's practice of blaming outsiders.

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