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Published On: Tue, Jan 2nd, 2018

Iranian protests: Death toll rises to 21, Khamenei blames ‘enemies’, Trump attacks Obama, Haley calls for freedom

The Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blamed Iran’s “enemies” on Tuesday for stirring up unrest in the country as anti-government  protests continue and the death toll rose to 21. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley addressed the deadly protests in Iran Tuesday at the United Nations.

“The Iranian dictatorship is trying to do what it always does, which is to say that the protests were designed by enemies. We all know that is complete nonsense,” Haley said on Tuesday.

Speaking for the first since the demonstrations erupted last Thursday, Khamenei accused the nation’s enemies of “joining forces” and blamed them for the protests that have turned violent.

“The enemy is waiting for an opportunity, for a flaw, through which they can enter. Look at these events over the last few days. All those who are against the Islamic Republic — those who have money, those who have the politics, those who have the weapons, those who have the intelligence — they have all joined forces in order to create problems for the Islamic Republic and the Islamic Revolution,” he said.

No specific country was mentioned.

anti-regime protests in the Iranian city of Rasht on December 29, 2017 (Twitter video screenshot)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani downplayed the significance of the protests Monday as the outrage spread beyond the capital of Tehran to at least 18 cities. Rouhani claimed that “This is nothing” compared to other outbreaks of unrest, but authorities responded with mass arrests and restrictied the use of the social media apps Instagram and Telegram, used to organize the rallies.
“The U.N. must speak out,” Haley said Tuesday. “We must not be silent. The people of Iran are crying out for freedom.”

“The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime,” Trump tweeted today.

“All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their ‘pockets,'” he continued, referring to the Iran nuclear deal. “The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!”

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Tuesday tweeted that Iran would not allow “infiltrators” to sabotage protests.

“Iran’s security and stability depend on its own people, who — unlike the peoples of of Trumps regional ‘bffs’ — have the right to vote and to protest,” Zarif tweeted. “These hard-earned rights will be protected, and infiltrators will not be allowed to sabotage them through violence and destruction.”

Rouhani slammed Trump for a similar tweet Monday in which the US leader said the Iranian people were “repressed” and that it was “TIME FOR CHANGE!”
Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani accused the US, UK and Saudi Arabia of using hashtags and social media campaigns inside Iran to incite riots.

“Based on our analyses, around 27% of the new hashtags against Iran are generated by the Saudi government,” Shamkhani said

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professional in 2008 on sites like Examiner and blogs: Desk of Brian, Crazed Fanboy. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) will be a licensed Assembly of God Pastor by the Spring of 2017. "Why do we do this?" I was asked and the answer is simple. "I just want the truth. I want a source of information that tells me what's going and clearly attempts to separate opinion from fact. Set aside left and right, old and young, just point to the world and say, 'Look!'" To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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