Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei has, predictably, accused Western intelligence agencies of being behind the surge of protests across Iran by citizens angered at the economic crises and worsening oppression, and suggesting that the protests by Iranian women against the mandatory hijab laws were carried out by a very few women who were misled into taking off their headscarves by Western propaganda.
Speaking at an event for eulogists and clerics held in Tehran on March 8 to mark the birth of Lady Fatima Zahra, the daughter of Prophet Mohammed, Khamenei said, “Just a few months ago, the ‘think-tanks’ which means the [Western] special intellectual groups, sat down together and discussed establishing a plan, determining a time period for December, January, and February, meaning the current days that you and I are in; they set out a plan that they would carry out this mission in December; after that they would do that mission in January and would proceed with that mission in February as they have attempted to devise an estimate that Iran would fall by the end of the year”
As Khamenei’s loyalists laughed at his poking fun at the supposed ‘conspiracy’ Khamenei went on, saying, “Well, their mission it is like ‘The cat dreams of mice. You witnessed how the Iranian nation responded in December [a reference to the counter-demonstrations organized by the regime in response to the anti-regime protests that spread across the country]. You witnessed how the Iranian nation responded in January; now as we are in February. The Iranian nation is ready to respond to any invaders or any transgressor, as well as every wrongdoer. Note that what I want to say is not these points, which we’ve repeated many times, and we all know this, even our enemy knows this that the strength of the Islamic Republic rests on the people and their faith and relies on the passionate young people who are interested in the Islamic Republic”.
“In other words, the strength of the Islamic Republic relies on the line that is drawn rightly by the great Imam Khomeini and based on this line we are moving ahead – let others do whatever they want and tell whatever they want to say since it is clear they cannot do a damn thing to us.”
Responding to Khamenei’s cue the regime supporters yell, “Takbir, Takbir!”
After the cheers, Khamenei carries on, saying, “Allow me to continue; here, I want to mention the issue of hijab like they do [referring to the regime’s enemies in the US and other Western nations]. They spend a lot of money, expend great efforts, and use hundreds of media outlets in order to impact the independent identity of the Muslim woman. Really our enemies overseas kill themselves for this issue as they use different ways, given the massive funds they spend in order for them to use TV channels and radios and virtual internet space [social media networks] and websites for promoting propaganda and talk hundreds of times. The result of their work is just a few girls, for example, four girls, who get deceived and, take off their headscarves in the street. For a few people to do so after spending all these funds, expending so many efforts, energy, and thoughts behind this work, they are trying to achieve this; however, their efforts are futile. The result of their work might be a few girls, here or there who are deceived, or for various motivations or some of them maybe receive money, though I am not sure, to take off their headscarves. So all of their efforts are summarized in this trivial and minor result.”