MP Slams US, Saudi Support for Protests in Iran

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An Iranian lawmaker said the support of the US and Saudi officials for recent protests against high prices in some Iranian cities obviously indicates that Washington and Riyadh are behind the norm-breaking moves in the country.

محمد علی پورمختار

“The support of the US officials and Saudi authorities for the gatherings (in some cities of Iran) shows that a number of their agents have undoubtedly infiltrated ranks of protesters, (encouraging them to) chant norm-breaking slogans (against the Islamic Republic),” Mohammad Ali Pourmokhtar told Tasnim on Monday.

He further described the protests as “rightful”, calling on the government and parliament to take the necessary measures and swiftly address people’s economic challenges.

Noting that it is the right of every Iranian citizen to stage peaceful rallies based on the Constitution, Pourmokhtar said police confronted the protests only after realizing that anti-revolutionary groups were trying to capitalize on the rallies.

Some cities in Iran have been scenes of demonstrations in the past days after prices of several staples rose by up to 40 percent.

During the rallies, people called on the government to help control rising food prices and inflation, but some opportunists attempted to turn the situation ugly and materialize their vested interest at the cost of social security.

A London-based analyst has also said that the US has been involved in the protests because ever since the Islamic Revolution, Washington has been seeking to turn the country into a “vassal state.”

“We have heard (US President) Donald Trump and other American politicians but also American mainstream journalists showing support to the protesters in Iran and that is extremely disconcerting and I believe that the subversion threat in Iran backed by the Americans is all the more potent because of Donald Trump,” Marcus Papadopoulos, publisher and editor of Politics First, told Press TV.

“I do believe that there are some sincere protesters in Iran who do not want foreign intervention in their country but they want something to be done about the poverty but there are others of course who are following the orders of the Americans,” he added.

On Sunday, the US president one more time sided with the opportunists, tweeting, “Big protests in Iran. The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism. Looks like they will not take it any longer. The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!”  

In response, Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi denounced Trump’s tweets and said Washington has no right to interfere in the Islamic Republic’s internal affairs.

“Mr. Trump is beating the air and hallucinating,” the Iranian parliamentarian said. 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani began his second term in office in August, with the country’s economic issues high on his agenda.

Rouhani’s administration has managed to reduce the inflation rate, but it still faces many economic challenges.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has said economic issues were the country’s top priority, urging Iranian officials to make relentless efforts to solve problems facing the people, including unemployment among the youth.

“Economy must be the top priority of all members and sectors of the government,” the Leader said in a meeting with President Rouhani and the members of his administration in August.

In a speech on Wednesday, Ayatollah Khamenei once again called on officials to pursue the Resistance Economy with determination in order to address “high prices, inflation and recession.”

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