Published: Sat, January 06, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

Iran protests: Supreme leader Khamenei blames 'enemies'

Iran protests: Supreme leader Khamenei blames 'enemies'

The protests could be the beginning of a longer period of unrest, one that could destabilize both the country's elected government and its theocratic leaders.

Founded in 1981, the NCRI represents political figures, academicians, and other Iranians who have fled their homeland, are dedicated to the overthrow of the Islamic Republic and its replacement with a secular democracy. Unemployment among the youth has reached a record-high of roughly 31%, while approximately 60% of the Iranian population is under 30 years of age.

US President Donald Trump has posted a string of tweets in support of the protesters and against Iran's leaders, the latest one on Tuesday. Other Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani, have also insisted that citizens are entitled to protest - and it appeared to be those assurances that Mogherini was referring to in her statement.

More than 450 protesters have been arrested in the capital in the last three days, Tehran's deputy provincial governor said, and hundreds of others were detained around the country.

Reports emerge that authorities in Iran have shut off the internet in some parts of the country.

Critics rightly point to the Trump administration's misguided ban on visitors from mostly Muslim countries, including Iran, Trump's rants against the internationally binding nuclear deal with Iran, his near-total embrace of Saudi Arabia's regional policies (largely aimed at thwarting its rival Iran), the complicit silence on the human tragedy that is Yemen, and, finally, the president's odd decision to call the Persian Gulf the "Arabian Gulf". Their voices deserve to be heard.

Bloc says it expects 'right of expression to be guaranteed'.

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Rouhani pushed back on Trump's remarks, saying the USA president had no right to sympathize with protesters because he "called the Iranian nation terrorists a few months ago".

Iran does allow some labor strikes or unauthorized demonstrations to take place, like when coal miners angry over the deaths of at least 42 of their colleagues in an explosion in May confronted Rouhani during his presidential re-election campaign. Unemployment in Iran is about 12.7 percent, and the cost of basic goods jumped 40 percent in 2017. "People's expectations were raised by the nuclear deal, but the quality of life hasn't materially improved", Karim Sadjadpour, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said in an interview with Isaac Chotiner of Slate.

But he also understood the economic grievances driving the unrest. "The rich now heedlessly flaunt their wealth", emphasizing the economic divide.

Peek, a former military intelligence officer, told the news outlet that Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been "tone deaf" in his reaction to the demonstrations.

Other officials, like U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, urged the global community to join in on the administration's efforts. "The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!".

But as tempting as that grandstanding could be, the United States should probably take no hasty actions on this one until it can give the Iranian people a chance to be fully heard.

In his latest tweet on Monday, the US president said, "The [Iranian] people have little food, big inflation and no human rights".

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Rashed wrote that the Iranian leadership was arrogant for thinking it could threaten Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Tweeting about Iran last week, Trump again blamed his predecessor, Barack Obama, for botching the country's relationship with Iran, referencing the nuclear deal, and warning that the U.S. would be looking for any human rights violations.

People take part in pro-government rallies in Iran on January 3.

Trump is many things to different groups, but what he is not is a European pushover or afraid to side with the hungry and deserving people of Iran against the corrupt Revolutionary Guard lead by the supreme leader. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari.

Acting out in ways that reconfirm the long standing hardliner story line that the United States will always be an enemy to Iran would be a mistake at this time.

Iranian state television reported that nine people were killed overnight, with the overall death toll standing at least 20.

On Tuesday, Khamenei blamed Iran's "enemies" for the chants of "death to the dictator" ringing through his country.

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