The allegations were made by Tehran’s President Ebrahim Raisi in response to support expressed by Washington and its allies for the deadly mass unrest that has raged across the Islamic Republic for the past four weeks.
By Erin Viner
In a direct rhetorical attack on his US counterpart Joe Biden, the firebrand leader accused the American president of responsibility for the “chaos, terror and destruction in another country,” said the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
Raisi went on to cite “the eternal words” of the late founder of the Islamic Republic Imam (Ayatollah Ruhollah) Khomeini,, who called America the “great Satan,” said the report.
Speaking during a cabinet session yesterday, a furious Raisi, claimed that examples of “the acts done by the great evil” included “70 years of support for (Israeli) Zionist crimes in Palestine, as well as two decades of aggression and warmongering in Afghanistan.” He went on to say that “the United States feels angry with any act of innovation in Iran while being happy with the problems and insecurity in the country.”
The country’s “enemies have been seeking to fuel disappointment in the Iranian society,” declared President Raisi, a close confidant of current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, while calling for “effective measures to solve the problems of the people so as to neutralize the plots hatched by our nation’s enemies.”
US President Biden issues several statements over the weekend in solidarity for Iranian protests, that have been ongoing since the 16 September death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody after her arrest by so-called “morality police” for being dressed in what was deemed as un-Islamic clothing.
Women “should be able to wear in God’s name what they want to wear,” he said during a speech at Irvine Valley Community College in California. “Iran has to end the violence against its own citizens simply exercising their fundamental rights.”
During later comments while campaigning for a fellow Democrat in Oregon’s race for governor on Saturday, President Biden expressed surprise over the depth of Iranian’s courage to openly demonstrate against the mullah regime.
Widespread public protest against Amini’s death has burgeoned into one of the boldest challenges to Iran’s clerical rulers since the 1979 Revolution, with crowds of citizens demanding the downfall of the Islamic Republic.
Met with a brutal state crackdown, rights groups said at least 240 protesters had been killed, including 32 minors. Over 8,000 people had been arrested in 111 cities and towns, said the Hrana Iranian activist news agency on Saturday.
Among the casualties have been teenage girls – whose deaths have become a rallying cry for even more anti-government demonstrations to be held nationwide.
Iranian authoritIes, who have not published a death toll, blame the violence on enemies at home and abroad, and deny that state security forces have killed those they call “rioters.”
The US, Canada and several European countries have imposed sanctions on Iranian officials and organizations they assert are involved with the deadly clampdown.
Amid the spread of anti-government protests sparked by Amini’s death, more details are emerging over a deadly fire that erupted at Iran’s notorious Evin Prison. At least eight detainees were killed, and 61 others were injured in the blaze, state media reported. The US blacklisted the facility in 2018 for “serious human rights abuses.”
“Iran has turned into a big prison. Evin Prison has become a slaughterhouse,” chanted students in Tehran at ongoing university protests yesterday in video circulating on social media:
Many other dual national Iranians and foreign citizens are incarcerated at Evin Prison mostly for security-related charges.
“France once again reminds the Iranian authorities that they are responsible for the safety and health of our compatriots detained in Iran,” a French foreign ministry spokesperson said in a statement, repeating a call for the immediate release of “several French nationals (who) are being arbitrarily detained.”