Iran’s Supreme Leader has said that his country has been able to defeat U.S. plans to change the regime but has warned regime officials and the people to be alert to “America’s deceptions”.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday in a meeting with family members of Iranian servicemen killed in the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, alluded to what he described as an American plot of a “hot summer”. It appears he was referring to multiple protests in Iran in June and August of this year. He said that this plan was defeated, but the U.S. might have other plans for next year.
Mass protests in Iran throughout the year were triggered by economic hardship but quickly turned into anti-regime and specifically anti-Khamenei disturbances.
At the same time, in another part of his speech he said the U.S. does not have any other workable plan to “strike a blow”.
Numerous statements by Iranian officials and media in this year indicate that unrest in the country is seen as perhaps a plot by President Donald Trump’s administration to destabilize Iran and topple the regime.
The appointment of John Bolton as National Security advisor and Brian Hook as head of Iran task force have reinforced this belief in the minds of Iranian leaders.
Khameni’s words can also indicate a genuine fear of unrest in the country, somehow encouraged or assisted by the U.S. and its allies in the region.
In his speech, Khamenei also said, “With the help of sanctions and actions directed against our internal security, they want to sow discord, create problem and start a civil war in our country. They have done all they could”.
Khamenei’s statements come at a time when Iran’s ailing economy is facing the strong headwinds of U.S. sanctions. The national currency has lost a lot of value, prices are reaching hyper-inflation levels and labor unrest has become a daily problem.
Iran’s Supreme Leader also repeated one of his favorite themes, that U.S. leaders are murderers and usurpers and their ally Saudi Arabia are not much different.
Khamenei warned everyone to be on alert about “America’s deceitfulness next year, adding, “When the Americans say we will do this or that in 97 [the current Iranian year], it might be more noise than action, but have the real plan for 98. All have to on alert and vigilant”.