A top official of Iran’s revolutionary Guards has said that if it was not for the “timely intervention” of the Supreme Leader, it would not have been possible “to wrap up” the November protests in 48 hours.
Yadollah Javani, the political deputy of the Islamic Revolution guard Corps (IRGC) in a speech on December 2 called the widespread protests “An American story”, referring to oft repeated conspiracy theory by officials that foreign powers organized or instigated the protests, which spontaneously broke out on November 15, hours after a threefold rise in gasoline prices.
The Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called the protesters “thugs” on November 17, the third day of protests and called on “those responsible” to “discharge their duty…to preserve the country’s security”. This was a signal to an array of security and intelligence organs to use military means to quell the unrest.
After the protests were suppressed, Khamenei on November 27 praised the work of security forces saying they “entered the arena during those days and by hard confrontations did their job”.
At least 208 protesters were killed by security forces according to Amnesty International and other estimates go much higher.
Javani in his speech called the protesters “the enemy’s forces” and added that the enemy, namely the United States, had prepared them through cyberspace to make trouble, even if the government had not raised Gasoline prices.
The senior IRGC official repeated the readiness of Revolutionary Guards to confront possible future protests. He also said that the goal of U.S. sanction was to fuel dissatisfaction among the people to push them to rebel against the Islamic Republic.