Iran’s Khamenei, Supporters Make Strange Claims Amid Protests

Although Ali Khamenei has admitted for the first time that Iran is in “riot”, he and many of his officials continue to make absurd remarks.

In his speech on Saturday Khamenei blamed the enemies tried to slow Iran’s progress, but did not explain what kind of progress he was talking about.

His authoritarian rule has crippled Iran’s economy over the past decade, plunging tens of millions of people into poverty. Other than some military hardware, the Islamic Republic has little progress, and protesters across the country are demanding regime change.

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The likes of former parliament speaker Gholamali Haddad-Adel, a close relative of Khamenei, have followed suit, blaming foreign countries for protests since mid-September after a young woman was killed in Tehran by “morality police”.

Haddad-Adel claimed during a meeting with hardline politicians in Tehran on Saturday, [Nov. 18,] that he had evidence to show that “47 countries have an Iranian desk in their government and spend the budget” to monitor the Islamic Republic. However, Haddad Adel did not mention that the Iranian government has several centers to monitor events in other countries. These include the Center for American Studies at the University of Tehran and several centers for strategic studies in the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other offices that work with Iran’s neighbors and countries as far away as South America.

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Iran’s neighbors and others have every reason to look down on a country that threatens them. The Islamic Republic also threatens shipping and trade in the strategic Persian Gulf and the Sea of ​​Oman, and just two weeks ago, regional countries and the US were alerted about possible Iranian military actions against Saudi Arabia and warned Tehran against them.

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Haddad-Adel sits next to Khamenei in an undated photo

Added to this are longstanding Western concerns about Tehran’s support for terrorist groups in the region and beyond. In the last two weeks Iran threatened to destabilize Europe, and threatened journalists in the United Kingdom. London authorities and security and counter-terrorism experts took Tehran’s threats seriously.

Haddad-Adel also claimed that the US is destabilizing Iran because it is the only country in the world that does not succumb to dominance. But Iran has signed longstanding deals with China that some former Iranian officials, including former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have described as “colonial.”

That said, there are other Iranian politicians whose remarks about foreign intervention in Iran are even stranger. According to Tehran-based pro-reform website Jamaran News.Javad Nikbin, an Iranian lawmaker from Kashmar, a small town in Khorasan province, said on November 17 that it was the United States that set fire to Tehran’s Evin prison in mid-October.

Nikbin quoted Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian as telling him about the October 16 on the fire at Evin prison in Tehran: “On the night Evin prison was set on fire, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called me as soon as I arrived at my house. home and took off my jacket.. The secretary said there were four prisoners in the US Evin was supposed to be exchanged for Iranian prisoners in the US and he was worried that something might happen to them. I told him nothing happened. ” A comment after the Jamaran News tweet jokingly says: “Blinken could have waited for our foreign minister to take off his jacket. It was really hard for him to answer the phone with his hand still in his sleeve.”

Nikbin also claimed that “the US used their men in Tehran to set fire to the prison” and said that “the US Secretary of State knew about the fire 40 minutes before we knew about it.” Nevertheless, the most interesting part of the report is that the Iranian Foreign Ministry has denied any such conversation between the foreign minister and Nikbin, and of course the phone conversation between the top diplomats of Iran and the United States.

However, the story does not end there. November 19 some Iranian newspapers published Nikbin’s rather funny account of the conversation as news. The Islamic Republic needs controversial stories to distract from the ongoing violent crackdown on protesters.


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