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Iran Supreme Leader Says 'Enemy' Triggering Unrest To Weaken Islamic Republic

June 04, 2022

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has accused the "enemy"-- a reference mainly to the United States -- of seeking to use protests to destabilize the Islamic Republic.

"Today the enemy counts on popular demonstrations to strike the Islamic system," Khamenei said in a speech on the anniversary of the death of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on June 4.

Khamenei, 82, said Iran's enemies try to pit its citizens "against the Islamic system" through psychological warfare, the Internet, and financial support.

Anti-government protests have increased in Iran in recent years.

Iranian security forces have brutally clamped down on popular protests over corruption that led to the collapse of a building in the southern city of Abadan, killing at least 38 people on May 23.

The collapse of the residential building has highlighted rising anger at Iran's establishment.

Protesters initially directed their fury at local authorities, but the target of their protests quickly turned to the clerical regime, with demonstrators chanting "Death to Khamenei" and "Death to the dictator," also a reference to the supreme leader.

Authorities have disrupted the Internet and used tear gas to quell the rallies.

Before the protests over the building collapse, authorities had faced weeks of demonstrations in at least seven provinces over the skyrocketing prices of basic food items.

Iran has been struggling under the effect of sanctions reimposed by the United States since 2018 and this has been exacerbated by rising prices worldwide following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, RFE/RL's Radio Farda

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-protests- khamenei-enemies-unrest/31883260.html

Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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