Iran’s prime chief defends hard-line strategy towards West, blames protests on ‘thugs and villains’


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s supreme chief on Sunday defended his robust strategy to the West, saying compromise would solely invite additional hostility from Iran’s enemies and blaming latest anti-government protests on “thugs and villains.”

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s remarks come amid an intensifying standoff with Western international locations over Iran’s nuclear program, which has made main advances within the 5 years since then-President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from a world accord that restricted it.

Trump restored crippling sanctions on Iran which have contributed to a extreme financial disaster with out forcing any concessions from its leaders. Iran has additionally lent assist to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, supplying armed drones that have wreaked havoc on the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

“Some persons are mistaken to assume if we again down from our stances in sure circumstances that may trigger the enmity of the U.S, the worldwide vanity, or Israel towards us to decrease,” mentioned Khamenei, who has the ultimate say on all main Iranian insurance policies. “It is a mistake.”

He spoke at an annual speech marking the demise of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, his predecessor and the founding father of the Islamic Republic.

Khamenei alluded to nationwide protests final fall sparked by the demise of a 22-year-old lady, Mahsa Amini, who had been detained by the morality police for allegedly violating the nation’s strict gown code. The protests escalated into requires the overthrow of the Islamic Republic earlier than a lethal crackdown largely extinguished them.

Iranian authorities have blamed the protests on a overseas conspiracy, with out offering proof, whereas the demonstrators mentioned they have been protesting over many years of repression and financial mismanagement.

“Thugs and villains did what they did and malicious people chanted such slogans,” Khamenei mentioned. “In response to their plot they thought the Islamic Republic was completed they usually may take the Iranian nation as servants. These fools, as soon as once more, have been fallacious. As soon as once more, they did not know our individuals.”


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