Iran's 'enemies' fuelling unrest, says Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Jan 03, 2018, 08:36 IST | Agencies

As country's supreme leader pins blame on enemies, other officials allege US, UK and Saudi hand in protests

An image grab taken from a handout video reportedly shows a group of men pushing traffic barriers in a street in Tehran on December 30. pics/afp
An image grab taken from a handout video reportedly shows a group of men pushing traffic barriers in a street in Tehran on December 30. pics/afp

Iran's supreme leader blamed the country's "enemies" yesterday for days of unrest that have seen 21 killed and hundreds arrested. "The enemies have united and are using all their means, money, weapons, policies and security services to create problems for the Islamic regime," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a speech carried on state television. Iranian officials have said online accounts in the United States, Britain and Saudi Arabia are fomenting protests.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

A fifth night of unrest saw six protesters killed during an attack on a police station in Qahderijan. "The enemy is always looking for an opportunity and any crevice to infiltrate and strike the Iranian nation," Khamenei said. Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, described the unrest as a "proxy war against the Iranian people". "Hashtags and messages about the situation in Iran come from the United States, Britain and Saudi Arabia," he said.

21 No. of people who have died since the protests began
100 No. of people detained around Isfahan on Monday

Oil production, exports unaffected

Iran's crude oil production and exports have not been impacted by the unrest spreading across the country, Iranian oil and shipping sources said on Tuesday. Iran, OPEC's third biggest oil producer, pumps around 3.8 million barrels per day. An Iranian oil industry source said, "Everything is going normally," another source said, adding that the protests had not spread into the energy sector and "remained in the streets".

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