News   /   Politics

Leader: Foreign-backed rioters pretended to protest weaknesses, but sought to destroy strengths

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei addresses a group of people from Qom on the occasion of a 1978 popular uprising in the holy city, in Tehran, Iran, on January 9, 2023. (Photo by

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the enemies sought to destroy Iran’s progress and strengths through the recent violent riots in the country.

Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks in the Iranian capital Tehran on Monday in an address to a group of people from Qom on the anniversary of the popular uprising in the holy city against the former US-backed Pahlavi regime in 1978.  

The Leader said the rioters did not actually take to the streets to protest against the economic hardships that the Iranian nation is going through as a result of Western sanctions.

“There is no doubt that we are beset with economic and livelihood problems now. But, can these problems be solved by setting trash cans on fire, taking to the streets, and instigating riots? They did not want to remedy the shortcomings, but rather, sought to obliterate the Iranian nation’s strengths,” the Leader noted.

Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized that foreign enemies were overtly involved in the nationwide riots in the country while the United States and European countries openly fueled the unrest in one way or another.

The Leader added that the media hype against the Islamic Republic was aimed at creating the impression that rioters were discontent with economic problems and shortcomings in economic and other sectors of the country.

“They, however, did not want weaknesses to go away. The objective was rather to wipe out the country’s strengths,” he said.

The Leader pointed to attempts aimed at undermining Iran’s national security, stopping the country’s scientific progress through closure of educational and scientific centers, impeding the growth of domestic production, and harming booming sectors such as tourism as clear examples that back up his argument.

Ayatollah Khamenei noted that the enemies pushed their involvement in recent riots through cyber-based propaganda and via Western and certain regional media outlets.

The Leader underlined that what the rioters did amounted to treason, calling on relevant institutions and state officials to seriously deal with any act of betrayal.

Foreign-backed riots have hit various Iranian provinces since 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini died at the hospital on September 16, three days after she collapsed at a police station in Tehran. An investigation has attributed Amini’s death to her medical condition, rather than alleged beatings by the police.

The violent riots have claimed the lives of dozens of people and security forces, while also allowing terrorist attacks across the country. In the last three months, the terrorists have set fire to public property and tortured several Basij members and security forces to death.

The United States and its European allies have voiced staunch support for the continuation of violent riots across Iran and spared no effort to fan the flames of unrest in the country as part of their anti-Iran policies.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku