At a news conference following the recent NATO summit in the UK, Johnson told reporters: “My own feeling is that this is not just about fuel prices, this is a sign of real popular dissatisfaction with the regime and frankly I am by no means surprised. As so often, Iranian disruption in the region is a distraction from the failings of the Iranian regime.”

The protests began over economics but soon became about regime change, with protesters chanting ‘death to the dictator’.

He said: “The protests in Iran itself in 90-plus cities are taking place because the Iranian people are fed up.  They see a theocracy that is stealing money.  The ayatollah is stealing tens and tens of millions of dollars, putting it in his own pocket, money that should go to provide resources for the Iranian people.  And they just – it’s – they say enough and they’re demanding these basic rights.” 

He then went on to explain that the regime has killed several hundred protesters and detained thousands. Indeed, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) estimates that over 1,000 have been killed in 189 cities. In fact, the State Security Force alone recorded 1,029 deaths related to the protests.

Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi hailed the martyrs of the uprising on Wednesday and urged the United Nations Security Council and the European Union and its member states to condemn the massacre and take urgent action to stop the killings and release those arrested, otherwise the regime will take this a green light to intensify their crimes.

Rajavi asked the UN Secretary-General once again to immediately send a fact-finding mission to investigate the extent of the killings and visit detention centers. She also called on the UN Security Council and its president to declare the massacre a crime against humanity and bring those responsible for it to justice.

She said that the world must isolate the regime from the community of nations and bring to justice the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani, and other officials.