Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that the “Americans and Zionists” and the “‘murderous’ Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization” compose the triangle that was behind the anti-regime protests in Iran that have entered their 13th day.
“The plot has been hatched by Americans and Zionists,” Khamenei said Tuesday to a large group of people from the religious city of Qom to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the January 9, 1978, uprising in that city against Iran’s late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
He went on the list the other two parts of a so-called hierarchical triangle or pyramid saying, “They have been working on it for several months, planning to begin from small towns and then move on towards the center,” Khamenei said. “The cash comes from one of the filthy rich Persian Gulf littoral states. Obviously, such projects need money, but the Americans won’t be willing to spend anything as long as they have these [rich allies].” He added, “the third side of the triangle consists of the U.S. submissive henchmen: Mohajhedeen-E-Khalq Organization.”
He suggested the MEK “began with a slogan [to catch attention] in opposition to high prices. Well, this is a slogan that everyone likes. They wanted to attract some people with this message, then enter the arena themselves to pursue their evil goals and attract followers.” Khamenei then went on to say, “On the one hand, the rioters shouted ‘my life be sacrificed for the sake of Iran,’ on the other hand, they burned the flag of Iran! The fools did not understand that these two actions simply cannot go together. Well, we hope that you (MEK) die for Iran! But, when have you stood up to the enemies of Iran? Those who have always stood against the enemy of Iran are the devout, believing, and revolutionary people.”
He added, “Who were the 300,000 martyrs of the Holy Defense era? They were these believing and revolutionary men who defended their country. When have you (MEK) died for Iran, that you shout ‘my life be sacrificed for the sake of Iran?'”
The Iranian regime executed over 30,000 political prisoners, many of which were members of the MEK, in 1988.
Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have reportedly deployed their forces to several provinces last week in an attempt to quash anti-government protests. General Mohammad Ali Jafari, chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), was quoted on the IRGC’s website announcing “the end of the sedition” of protesting. He reportedly added, “A large number of the trouble-makers at the center of the sedition, who received training from counter-revolutionaries … have been arrested and there will be firm action against them.”
The protests have continued despite the regime’s shutdown of social media platforms Telegram and Instagram. However, they appear to be slowing down, in part because lack of access to online platforms makes it more difficult for protesters to disseminate footage of the protests or organized assemblies.
Additionally, Iran’s regime are reportedly using bots to saturate Twitter and Instagram with propaganda against anti-regime protesters by creating dozens—if not hundreds—of “Twitter bots whose job ranged from calling widely shared videos of rallies fake to discouraging potential protesters from joining rallies,” according to the BBC.
Khamenei also said on Tuesday that this fight would not be a question of mere years. “It is a fight of a nation against an anti-nation; a fight of Iran against anti-Iran; a fight of Islam against anti-Islam: this has always existed and will persists.” He reportedly added, “they damaged us during these days, they know there will be some sort of retaliation.”