22:30 GMT +307 December 2019
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    An Iranian woman walks past an artistic mural in Tehran

    Islamic Cleric Says Iranian People Foiled Enemy Plots - Reports

    © AFP 2019 / Atta Kenare
    Middle East
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Iranians have foiled enemy plots against the country in the recent upwelling of unrest, senior Iranian cleric Seyyed Ahmad Khatami said Friday at a sermon, Iran's Mehr news agency reported.

    Speaking at Friday prayers in Tehran, Khatami said the US and Saudi Arabia admitted to planning and funding the riots, Iran's Mehr news agency reported. He provided no evidence for the claims.

    Khatami referred to God's favour and the diligence of the Iranian people as having delivered Iran from insecurity, according to the agency.

    The statement comes after the White House issued a statement in which it voiced its support for Iranians in "their peaceful protests against the regime that is supposed to lead them". The US administration also condemned the actions used by the government against protesters, namely "lethal force" and "severe communications restrictions".

    Amnesty International said earlier this week that over 100 demonstrators had been killed during the demonstrations in Iran. About 1,000 people have been arrested, according to the Iranian authorities.

    A wave of protests that broke out in several Iranian provinces last week over the sharp hike in gasoline prices. Some of the rallies, according to local media, were peaceful, while others resulted in violent clashes.The total number of protesters has reportedly reached 87,400. There were casualties among both protesters and security forces. According to President Hassan Rouhani, the protests were organised by the United States and Israel to undermine national security.

    funding, United States, Saudi Arabia, Riots, protests, Iran
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