TEL AVIV – Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Tuesday addressed protesters in Iran, telling them in Farsi that the Iranian regime is wasting billions of dollars in proxy wars instead of investing it in the country.
The wave of protests in Tehran that initially started in response to economic difficulties have broadened to include anger against the regime’s political decisions. Demonstrators have started adding “Death to Palestine” to their chants in an apparent attempt to convey their discontent that Tehran cares more about Palestinians than its own beleaguered population.
“Where is all your money going?” Liberman said on Facebook, according to a translation by Hebrew-language newspaper Yediot Aharonot. “Until today, despite domestic economic difficulties, the Iranian regime continues to invest millions in Syria, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, the Houthis and Shiite militias in Iraq.”
“In 2018, Iran pledged to pay $2.5 billion dollars to these organizations,” he continued. “As of now, Iran has invested $14 billion in Syria alone.”
— Pouria Zeraati (@pouriazeraati) June 25, 2018
“Even last month, when you were fighting for your bread in the streets of Tehran, Qassem Soleimani took several actions, including a logistical operation intended for Syria at the price of $70 million,” Liberman said in reference to the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
The protesters have also shouted political slogans, such as “Leave Syria, leave Gaza and Lebanon, deal with Iran”; “Death to Khamenei,” referring to Iran’s top leader; and “Death to Palestine.”
Unemployment is at an all-time high with only 40% of Iran’s population employed. On Monday, thousands protested outside Tehran’s famed Grand Bazaar chanting, “We don’t want the mullahs.”