After massive protests in Iran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday (June 4) that foreign “enemies” seeking to overthrow the Islamic Republic were responsible.
Accusing them of piracy for seizing two Greek vessels after the United States confiscated Iranian oil from a tanker, Khamenei said the enemies were waging “psychological warfare” against Iran.
According to him, “Who is the pirate here? You stole our oil. We took it back from you. Recovering stolen property is not theft.”
Referring to week-long protests over a building collapse in southwestern Iran last month that killed 37 people, Khamenei said: “Today, the most important hope of enemies to deal a blow to the country rests on popular protests”.
During a televised address on the 33rd anniversary of the death of the leader of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, he pointed out that “the enemies’ calculation is as wrong as many other precedents “.
Reiterating his call to punish those responsible for the collapse of the 10-storey Metropol Tower in Abadan, Khamenei said the United States was seeking to use the protests to weaken the Islamic republic.
In an apparent attempt to stop the use of social media to hold rallies and broadcast videos, Iranian residents have reported disrupted internet services.
Iran, reeling from US sanctions since 2018, has seen waves of protests over living conditions in recent years.
Exacerbated by rising prices around the world since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, protests against rising living costs and corruption have taken place in several Iranian cities.
(With agency contributions)
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