Iran Protests: Supreme Leader Blames Israel, US For Unrest

Photo: Khamenei.IR/AFP [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • In a speech on Monday, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, blamed the US and Israel for anti-government protests that erupted in the country in mid-September following the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini while in police custody.

  • The speech marked the first time that Khamenei had publicly acknowledged the ongoing protests, which are reportedly the biggest in years. The address saw him characterize the demonstrations as "riots."

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

Amini's death, and the circumstances that resulted in the tragedy, have exposed how the Iranian regime treats its own citizens and pushed the country's youth to its absolute limits. Raisi has already fostered a volatile environment by failing to tackle the economic crisis and youth unemployment, and repression against women through the criminalization of notionally immodest dressing has only amplified discontent. Iranians cannot blindly comply with these orders any longer.

Establishment-critical narrative

Iran's riots have nothing to do with the death of Amini but everything to do with enemies of Iran exploiting the tragic event for the purpose of creating chaos in the country - this was simply the right excuse at the right time. However, Iranians can count on its government to remain firm in its opposition to Western hegemony and Israel's Zionist regime.

Nerd narrative

There is a 51% chance that Iran will recognise Israel before 2070, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Establishment split



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