Washington Admits to ‘Aggressive’ Meddling in Iran as Tehran Recalls 1953 Coup
18:03 GMT 16.10.2022 (Updated: 18:19 GMT 16.10.2022)
On Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian warned Western countries that the Islamic Republic is “not a land of color or velvet coup d’états,” and “advised” the European Union to take “a realistic approach” to the ongoing anti-government protests.
The United States is taking “aggressive steps” to support Iranians taking part in protests which have engulfed multiple Iranian cities, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has admitted.
“We are taking a number of aggressive steps aimed at supporting the protesters in Iran,” Sullivan said, speaking to CNN on Sunday. “First of all, we seek to bring to justice the cruel officials of the Iranian government who use repression against protesters, organize their beatings and murders.”
These steps have also included meeting with "activists" operating outside Iran to hear their ideas about what Washington could do to support the protesters, according to the official.
Last month, the US Treasury slapped Iran with a new round of sanctions, while easing some earlier-imposed technology-related restrictions to try to improve rioters’ access to the Internet.
Sullivan’s comments followed off-the-cuff remarks by President Joe Biden on Saturday in which he expressed his “enormous respect” for the protesters “marching in the streets” against the “oppressive” Iranian government.
“I mean, I have to admit, I was surprised – not by the response; I was surprised by the courage of people and women taking the street – taking off their head scarf. I mean, it’s really been amazing. It’s really been amazing. But they’re -they’re not – they’re not a good group, in the government,” Biden said
at a White House press gaggle.
14 October 2022, 10:39 GMT
Separately on Sunday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani blasted the US president over his remarks, accusing him of interfering in Iran’s internal affairs “for the umpteenth time…by supporting the riots” in the country.
“Given the fact that he enjoys neither trusted advisors nor a good memory, I remind him that Iran is so strong and steadfast that it would not give in to his cruel sanctions and idle threats,” Kanaani said
. “Since the 1953 coup d’etat up until today, the anti-Iranian policies of the US administration have been well recorded in our minds. And of course, the history and every part of the world would testify that America’s crimes and violence have inflicted,” he added.
For his part, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps chief Hossein Salami accused the Western “enemy” of opening “a new area of cultural, political and security invasion” of the Islamic Republic, targeting the nation’s schools.
“The riots are a path that has come from strategic think tanks in America and England which has spread to our classrooms,” Salami said. “Americans start by having the headscarf removed and continue until the point where our lifestyles become like those of Westerners,” the commander added.
16 October 2022, 14:04 GMT
On Friday, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian warned the West to butt out of Iran’s affairs, and emphasized that “peaceful demands” for change “have nothing to do with riots, assassinations, arson, and terrorist operations” which Iran has faced over the past month.
Scores of people have been killed and thousands have been injured amid a month's worth of protests that began on September 16 after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who fell into a coma and died in hospital several days after being detained by Iran’s morality police for allegedly wearing her headscarf improperly.
News quickly spread among protesters that the young woman had been beaten into a coma by police. However, CCTV security footage released by authorities appeared to show that Amini did not face any physical abuse while in custody. A probe conducted for Iran’s parliament concluded that the young woman was not subjected to any bodily harm, and questioned the effectiveness of the emergency treatment she received immediately after collapsing. Last week, Iran’s Legal Medical Organization said that Amini’s death was caused by cerebral hypoxia which resulted in hypotension and multiple organ failure.
Iranian officials including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have accused
the US and Israel of “engineering”
the riots that subsequently engulfed the country, which have led to injuries and deaths not only among protesters, but also police and security forces personnel.
US media have made no secret
of Washington’s role in fomenting the unrest. Last month, Iranian-American Voice of America Persia and Radio Farda journalist Masih Alinejad boasted that she was “leading” the “revolution” in Iran online, and expressed confidence that “the Iranian regime will be brought down by women.”
12 October 2022, 12:12 GMT
Investigations by independent media including
The Grayzone have detailed the unprecedented level of suspected social media bot activity surrounding the protests.