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Khamenei Says Iraq Protests Conspiracy By 'The Enemy'

Iraqi men carry the coffin of a demonstrator, who was killed during anti-government protests, at a funeral in Najaf, Iraq October 5, 2019.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has said that he considers recent protests in Iraq to be the work of “enemies”, according to a tweet by his office on Monday.

Khamenei’s office quotes him as saying, “Enemies tried to create division, but they failed, and their conspiracy will have no impact.” The tweet adds that the Iranian and Iraqi people are united “in their hearts and souls…through faith in Allah” and Shiite sanctities and “their connection will grow day by day”.

It is not indicated in this message who “the enemy” is, but previously Iranian media accused the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel for organizing the protests to weaken ties between Iran and Iraq.

Last week major Iraqi cities erupted with protests against government corruption and inefficiency and high unemployment. Authorities reacted harshly to the protests by announcing a curfew and cutting internet connection. More than 100 people were killed, some by direct live fire by government snipers and hundreds wounded.

Protesters are also angry at Iran’s influence in their country and its interventions in Iraqi elections and parliamentary politics.

During the unrest people were heard shouting “Baghdad should be free, Iran should leave”.