Iran’s top religious leader Ali Khamenei has described the protests in Iran in recent weeks as a “hybrid war”. “Some insidious and evil European powers” have invaded Iranian territory, the 83-year-old head of state said on Wednesday.
He also accused America and Israel, the Islamic Republic’s arch-enemies, of interference “through intelligence services” and the media. Khamenei said young people are participating in the protests “for emotional reasons”.
There has been unrest in Iran for weeks after the death of 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish Mahsa Amini. She was arrested in mid-September for not following the strict dress code. Amini died in custody a few days later.
For over six weeks, tens of thousands of people have been demonstrating against the Islamic Republic’s repressive policies and authoritarian course. As a result, more than 280 people have been killed and more than 14,000 arrested, according to human rights activists.