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9 Jan, 2018 14:56

Britain is seeking to ‘overthrow’ Tehran, Iran’s supreme leader claims

Britain is seeking to ‘overthrow’ Tehran, Iran’s supreme leader claims

Iran has foiled attempts by Britain and the US to create unrest during a wave of anti-regime protests, according to the country’s supreme leader, who claims the UK government is trying to orchestrate a campaign against Tehran.

“The enemy now repeatedly makes moves and they are defeated each time,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying by state media, according to Reuters. “It’s because of the resistance, because of the strong populist and national dam.”

In a series of tweets from his official account, Khamenei accused Iran’s adversaries of supporting the rallies. “Once again, the nation tells the US, Britain, and those who seek to overthrow the Islamic Republic of Iran from abroad that ‘you’ve failed, and you will fail in the future, too.’” 

Khamenei has previously blamed the Israel and Saudi Arabia for the upheaval. According to the theocratic nation’s attorney general, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, a CIA plot for the anti-regime campaign in Iran began four years ago. The CIA was helped by Israeli spy agency Mossad and the entire anti-Iran campaign was funded by the Saudi regime, he said, according to the International Business Times.

Khamenei also thanked those who took part in the pro-government rallies and said: “These are not normal incidents. [These incidents] occur nowhere in the world,” referring to the show of support. “It is not a matter of one or two or five years. [It is about] a battle between the nation and those hostile to the nation; a battle between Iran and those hostile to Iran; a battle between Islam and those hostile to Islam.”

The supreme leader also took aim at US President Donald Trump. “The U.S. President says the Iranian establishment is terrified by their power. Well, if we were so terrified by you, how did we kick you out of Iran in late 70s and send you packing, out of the entire region, in the 2010s?” he said.

“This man who sits at the head of the White House – although, he seems to be a very unstable man – he must realize that these extreme and psychotic episodes won’t be left without a response.”

Protests criticizing the economic and political situation have spread to more than 80 cities since late December. At least 21 people have died.

A UK Foreign Office spokeswoman declined to comment on Khamenei’s claim, referring to a previous statement by British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Johnson said on January 1 that there should be “meaningful debate about the legitimate and important issues the protesters are raising.” He added: “People should be able to have freedom of expression and to demonstrate peacefully within the law. We regret the loss of life that has occurred in the protests in Iran, and call on all concerned to refrain from violence and for international obligations on human rights to be observed.”

The UK and US have precedent for orchestrating regime change in Iran. In 1953, the CIA and MI6 jointly orchestrated the coup of democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, as detailed in documents released from the US National Security Archive. The spy agencies reinstalled Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, as monarch. The Shah was, in turn, overthrown in the 1979 Iranian Revolution.