LONDON: Iran’s Supreme Leader on Tuesday accused enemies of the Islamic Republic of stirring unrest, as anti-government demonstrations that began last week continued.
“In recent days, enemies of Iran used different tools including cash, weapons, politics and intelligence apparatus to create troubles for the Islamic Republic,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying in a post on his official website.
Khamenei said he would address the nation about the recent events “when the time is right”.
Rouhani: Protests are an opportunity
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that protests are actually an opportunity to notice the problems and find solutions for them.
Since Thursday, groups of protesters have held protests in several cities across the country to voice their anger over rising prices, unemployment and corruption.
“Recent protests seem to be a threat, but they are actually an opportunity to see what the problem is,” Rouhani said during a meeting with chairmen of the parliamentary committees.
The Iranian TV reported that 10 people had been killed during the protests. However, it was not mentioned who they were killed by. Meanwhile, security forces have been adopting a much softer approach to the protests, largely maintaining inactive presence.
Some foreign dignitaries are curious on how Iran will approach the protests. In a tweet on Sunday former U.S. secretary of state John Kerry said, “With humility about how little we know about what’s happening inside Iran, this much is clear: it’s an Iranian moment and not anyone else’s. But the rights of people to protest peacefully and voice their aspirations are universal and governments everywhere should respect that.”
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also tweeted, “Watching events in Iran with concern. Vital that citizens should have the right to demonstrate peacefully.”