Khamenei attacks protesters, demands ‘punishment’

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has threatened protesters who continue their third month protests with punishment.

“The magnitude of this evil will undoubtedly be consolidated and soon it will be over,” Khamenei said in a speech to a crowd in central Iran’s Isfahan Province as they met at his office in the capital Tehran.

“The troublemakers, and all those behind them, are despicable enough to harm the regime, and we will eradicate the spark of sedition they incited without a doubt,” Khamenei added after accusing the protesters outside.

Calling the protesters “despicable,” Khamenei claimed that “the United States and Western countries wanted to bring people into the squares, but they failed and set the spark for exhaustion of state officials and the security apparatus. Those behind the scenes are too small to harm the regime.”

Since the beginning of the Iranian people’s uprising against the regime, Ali Khamenei and other Iranian officials have threatened further repression and have spoken of an imminent end to the protests.

In an interview with a group of regime supporters from Isfahan, he said, “The riot theater directors are pretending to be supporters of the nation, but they were hostile to all the wishes and beliefs and sanctities of the Bedouin. They showed their hostility to Islam, burned the mosque, burned the Koran, returned to Iran, burned the Iranian flag, and did not respect the national anthem.”

These accusations are raised while there is no video, photo or document to protest the burning of mosques and holy sites by individuals. Inside, observers say, security forces are taking such measures to turn public opinion against the traditional and religious parties in society and rally people against the demonstrators.

Without mentioning the killing of Iranians, including the youngest children, Khamenei said, “Enemies who could not bring people to the field do evil until they tire the officials, and of course they are wrong because these evils make people tired, and hate them more.”

While several videos of security forces damaging people’s property have been posted, Khamenei said, “These incidents, crimes and destruction create problems for people and businesses, but the people behind these evils and behind them are many.”

Khamenei called the demonstrators “oligarchs” and called for protests not to continue, especially after calls for labor sectors to participate in the protests in the coming days.

The Iranian leader said: “Those who commit crime, murder, sabotage, or threatening to set fire to shops and cars of merchants and people, and those who force them to do these things through advertising, should be punished.”

In all his speeches since the beginning of the popular protests against him, Khamenei has repeatedly threatened protesters with harsh treatment.

In conjunction with this speech, a funeral was held for Hamid Reza Rouhi, a 20-year-old who was shot by security forces in Tehran, and Sajjad Qaemi, who was killed in the Shiraz protests.

“Security forces have killed at least 402 demonstrators during the wave of protests, including three children in recent days and more than 52 children since the beginning of the protests, but in repeated scenarios they died due to terrorist attacks.”

Yesterday, Zainab Moulaye Rad, the mother of Kian Perflak, explained how regular forces shot her son dead during the funeral of her 9-year-old son in the city of Izeh in Khuzestan Province, southern Iran.

In his speech, Khamenei addressed many issues, saying, “Poor Europe has become rich at the expense of many rich countries such as India and China. Iran was not directly colonized, but they did their best with it.”

Afghanistan is an example before your eyes. The Americans came and committed crimes in Afghanistan for 20 years, and 20 years later, the same government that they came against came to work in Afghanistan gave it governance and left with the scandal.

Khamenei continued: If there is a government that rejects the liberal logic of democracy and gives people an identity with real logic, it is the Islamic Republic, claiming that “the progress of the Islamic Republic is unbearable for the West, and the stronger the Iranian voice, the greater the efforts of the enemy to overcome the Islamic Republic.”

The Iranian leader also admitted that “Iran is facing a major economic problem,” but he added, “We will be able to overcome this problem soon,” clarifying that “the American pressure on Iran would have been less if we had not advanced and if we were willing to accept their bullying.”

Khamenei also believed that some of the protesters were deceived by Western propaganda. “The deceived should be guided, but the criminals should be punished, and no one has the right to punish them arbitrarily,” he said.

In the past two months, he has repeatedly attributed recent protests to foreign states and never commented on the reasons for widespread discontent and the slogans of protesters.

In a letter to Ghulam Hossein Mohseni Ejei in recent weeks, various politicians, including several members of parliament, have demanded “the execution and revenge of the demonstrators”.

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