ISTANBUL: Turkey on Tuesday said was “concerned” by days-long protests that have engulfed neighbouring Iran, warning against any escalation in the unrest.
“Turkey is concerned by news the protests in Iran… are spreading, causing casualties and also the fact that some public buildings were damaged,” the foreign ministry said in a statement, adding “common sense should prevail to prevent any escalation.”
Khamenei blames Iran’s enemies
Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran’s “enemies” were orchestrating a plot to infiltrate and target the regime as he broke his silence on the days of unrest rocking the country.
“In the events of recent days, the enemies have united and are using all their means, money, weapons, policies and security services to create problems for the Islamic regime,” Khamenei said in a statement shown on state television.
“The enemy is always looking for an opportunity and any crevice to infiltrate and strike the Iranian nation,” he added.
A total of 21 people have died in five days of unrest across the country which began as protests over the economy before quickly turning against the Islamic regime as a whole.
“What can stop the enemy from acting is the spirit of courage, sacrifice and faith of the people,” he said, speaking to a gathering of war widows and their families.
450 people arrested over three days in Tehran
Some 450 people have been arrested in the Iranian capital over the past three days during unrest linked to protests, an official told local media.
“200 people were arrested on Saturday, 150 on Sunday and around 100 on Monday,” Ali-Asghar Naserbakht, a deputy in the Tehran city governor´s office, told the reformist-linked ILNA news agency.