The uprising, which began in December, was reinvigorated by the imposition of the US sanctions on the Iranian Regime earlier this month. Khamenei pointed to these protests, in many cities across Iran, and repeated his stance that the protesters were organised by the governments of the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia who had long planned disruption in Iran.
It’s somewhat ironic to hear the leader of the Iranian Regime criticise another country for seeking to disrupt a country, but it should be made clear that the outside governments were not involved in organising the protests. That honour goes to the Iranian Resistance, who worked with the Iranian people to ensure the maximum pressure on the Regime.
As Khamenei attempts to deflect blame and minimise the protests, we can see how truly shaken the mullahs are by the uprising, where the people loudly chant ‘Death to Khamenei’ and ‘Death to Dictator’. The Regime is so terrified that the protests will spread that they have come out to try to pretend that the situation is under control, when nothing could be further from the truth.
Khamenei also took the time to reject any possible negotiations with the US, even though that is the only thing that could save the mullahs, but he also denied that there would be war between Iran and the US; although in all fairness, this is likely because Iran could not survive a war with the US.
The uprising was sparked by economic problems, including high unemployment and the drop in value of the rial, but the protesters also brought more issues to the forefront and soon their demands were that the Regime that caused their problems must leave.
Khamenei has attempted to placate the people by arresting various individuals for economic crimes, which carry the death penalty. Of course, the Iranian people wouldn’t fall for that. They know that the Regime is rotten to the core and that the corruption that caused the financial collapse comes right from the top.
Khamenei refused to acknowledge that US sanctions are contributing to the economic crisis, because one, people would then call on him to negotiate with the US, and two, people would see that the Regime is incapable of preventing these crises. This would exacerbate the protests and spur regime change. But regardless of his actions, regime change is coming and coming fast.