Tagged: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

3 dead as Iranian protests spread, calling for end to Islamic regime

(JERUSALEM POST) — By Michael Wilner

Three demonstrators were shot dead by the Revolutionary Guard Corps as protests spread across Iran for a third night on Saturday, intensifying their calls for an end to the government’s costly expansionist projects across the Middle East, the corruption within its ranks and the Islamic Republic itself.

The demonstrations marked the nation’s first wave of serious public unrest since a violent crackdown by regime forces quelled dissent in 2009.

Marches that began as annual state-sponsored events for the airing of public discontent took on a different tone as protesters in more than 1,200 cities and towns called for the removal of the nation’s supreme leader, whose position of absolute power in Iran has determined the country’s fate since Islamists took control of its government in 1979.
The three protesters were reportedly shot dead as posters of the current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, were torn and pilloried.

Supporters of the Islamic government characterized the protests as small, scattered and largely focused on high unemployment and a scourge of corruption that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is fighting himself.

Critics of the regime say protesters from 2009’s Green Revolution are returning to the streets with unfinished business – a reckoning for a theocratic dictatorship unable to deliver for its people.

While the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office had no comment on Saturday night regarding the protests in Iran, Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said they were no surprise.

“Iran is wasting billions of dollars funding Hezbollah, Hamas, the Assad regime and terrorism throughout the world, rather than investing in the Iranian people,” Erdan posted on his Twitter account. “It’s no wonder that many Iranians are bravely standing up and speaking out against the Iranian leadership,” he said.

The Trump administration warned Tehran not to arrest or attack peaceful protesters, as video emerged of the demonstrations featuring violence from Iran’s Basij militia and a heavy presence of armed forces.

The State Department said the Islamic Republic had robbed its people of its historic wealth, and US President Donald Trump tweeted that “The world is watching!”

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Iran protests continue for a third day despite warnings

(BBC) — Anti-government protests have continued in Iran for a third day, with reports of demonstrations in many cities despite warnings from authorities.

At Tehran University, protesters called for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step down and there were clashes with police.

Demonstrators ignored the interior minister’s warning that citizens should avoid “illegal gatherings”.

Meanwhile, thousands of pro-government demonstrators turned out for rallies.

These official rallies were organized in advance of the anti-government protests, to mark the eighth anniversary of the suppression of major street protests in 2009.

The current protests began in the north-east on Thursday over living standards and by Friday had spread to several major cities.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli urged people not to take part “as they will create problems for themselves and other citizens”, but videos posted online suggest that protests were held on Saturday in at least nine cities across the country.

The Iranian authorities are blaming anti-revolutionaries and agents of foreign powers for the outbreak of protests. The communications minister has also urged Telegram, a popular mobile messaging app in Iran, to stop “promoting violence”.

In the US, the Trump administration warned Iran overnight that the world was watching its response. Iran’s foreign ministry called the comments “opportunistic and deceitful”.

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Khamenei, Iran-backed militia leader threaten U.S. over recognition of Jerusalem

(THE TOWER) — Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed his anger over the decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, threatening that Palestine will be “freed” and claiming that America was starting a “war in the region to protect the security of the Zionist regime.”

The Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday that Khamenei had dismissed President Donald Trump’s decision as a sign of desperation. “That they claim they want to announce Quds as the capital of occupied Palestine is because of their incompetence and failure,” Khamenei said, using the Arabic name for Jerusalem. He added: “On the issue of Palestine (US) hands are tied and they cannot advance their goals.”

Iran has long supported a number of Palestinian terrorist groups, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, in their fight against Israel.

Meanwhile, the leader of an one of the Iran-backed Shiite militias operating in Iraq, which make up the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) threatened to attack United States forces in the wake of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Agence France-Presse reported on Thursday.

“The decision by Trump on Al-Quds (Jerusalem) makes it legitimate to strike the American forces in Iraq,” Akram al-Kaabi, leader of the Al-Nojaba militia, said.

Al-Nojaba was formed in 2013 by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). It answers to Iran’s IRGC-Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani and is part of the PMF, or Hashd al-Shaabi, as the militias are known in Arabic.

In addition to fighting against ISIS in Iraq, Al-Nojaba has fought in Syria to support regime President Bashar al-Assad and helped Iran extend it influence across the region.

The U.S. is estimated to have between 5,000 and 9,000 troops currently serving in Iraq.

Last week, CIA Director Mike Pompeo said that he sent a letter to Soleimani warning him and his proxies not to target American troops.

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Saudi crown prince: Iran’s ayatollah the ‘new Hitler of the Middle East’

by Ben Kew

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman described Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as the “new Hitler of the Middle East” to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman in an interview published Thursday.

“[Iran’s] supreme leader is the new Hitler of the Middle East,” the prince, commonly referred to by his initials MBS, said in the lengthy interview. “We learned from Europe that appeasement doesn’t work. We don’t want the new Hitler in Iran to repeat what happened in Europe in the Middle East.”

Iran has a long history of sponsoring or promoting terrorism across the Middle East, dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

MBS’s comments come amid escalating tensions between the two countries after Saudi Arabia says its forces intercepted a missile fired from Yemen targeting one of its major airports, which authorities have described as a “blatant act of military aggression” by Iran, acting through its Yemeni proxies.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi responded to the “adventurist” crown prince by accusing him of “immature, inconsiderate, and baseless remarks and behavior,” multiple agencies reported.

“No one in the world and in the international arena gives credit to him because of his immature and weak-minded behavior and remarks,” Qasemi said. “I strongly advise him to think and ponder upon the fate of the famous dictators of the region in the past few years now that he is thinking of considering their policies and behavior as a role model.”

During the interview, the Prince also outlined his country’s latest anti-corruption purge, in which around 200 elites –including princes, ministers, and business tycoons—were arrested or fired in recent weeks.

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