Following repeated claims by multiple Islamic Republic authorities that recent protests have been organized or instigated by foreigners; sixteen prominent reformist figures in Iran have issued a statement rejecting the claim.
In the statement the activists say, “Despite the fact the enemies of the country always try to take advantage of such events, but we should know that any kind of foreign interference will not be possible without the existence of internal conditions”.
The signatories of the statement also maintain that focus on external interference, “in addition to being an insult to the people, leads to negligence toward the real causes of the protests” and an effective response to them.
At the same time these reformists have strongly condemned “American interference” and “especially that of its president” in the internal affairs of Iran.
Most of the signatories are former officials or members of parliament from the time of President Mohammad Khatami, who tried to institute reforms in the late 1990s, but was boxed in by the Supreme Leader ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his conservative followers. Almost all have been arrested and imprisoned since then or have politically motivated legal cases pending.
President Hassan Rouhani, Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Supreme National Security Council and other officials have accused the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia of organizing or instigating the current protests.
Israel has rejected interference in Iran’s internal affairs and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called Rouhani’s accusation “a lie and laughable”.
The protests have engulfed more than 101 cities and towns in Iran, which makes the claims of foreign instigation far-fetched.
The statement of reformists says that although economic condition played a role in protests, but more democracy, rule of law and accountability are needed to rescue the economy.