IRAN - Iran’s leaders have claimed defeat over an “enemy conspiracy”

24 November 2019 :

Iran’s leaders have claimed defeat over an “enemy conspiracy” in the face of growing international condemnation of its deadly crackdown on demonstrations sparked by sharp fuel-price hikes. “Our people have been victorious,” President Hassan Rohani told a cabinet meeting on November 20, claiming that the “armed anarchists” who took to the streets across Iran were few in number. He also suggested that the protests were part of a “plot” by Tehran’s foreign foes — Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the United States. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on November 19 that the enemy had been “repelled” in the country, adding that the unrest had not been the result of a popular movement. Protests erupted in dozens of places across Iran after the government announced on November 15 it was rationing gasoline purchases and cutting subsidies, amid biting U.S. sanctions imposed after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from a 2015 nuclear agreement. International human rights groups and the United Nations have joined the United States, Germany, and France in condemning Tehran for its use of force against peaceful demonstrators. Authorities are also being criticized for imposing a near total shutdown of the Internet. In New York, Iranian UN mission spokesman Alireza Miryousefi said that any figures on casualties during the protests were “speculative and not reliable” unless confirmed by Iranian officials. Miryousefi also tweeted that the government remained determined to make “prudent economic decisions while respecting human rights of its people including to freely exercise their right to protest in a peaceful environment.” Meanwhile, Iranian state media reported that thousands of people joined pro-government rallies in several cities.


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