U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that Iran’s clerical regime is “fundamentally” misunderstanding Iranian citizens by blaming foreign actors for the ongoing wave of demonstrations demanding more freedoms and women's rights.
“What’s happening in Iran is first and foremost about Iranians, about their future, about their country. And it’s not about us,” Blinken told CNN on November 30.
“And one of the profound mistakes that the regime makes is to try to point the finger at others, at the United States, Europeans, claiming that we’re somehow responsible for instigating or otherwise fanning the flames of the protests. That is to profoundly, fundamentally misunderstand their own people.”
Protests erupted across Iran following the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman detained by Tehran’s morality police allegedly for not wearing her hijab properly.
The security forces have cracked down hard on the demonstrations, killing more than 440 people, including dozens of children, and reportedly detaining at least 18,000.
Tehran has blamed foreign foes and their agents for the unrest, without providing any evidence.
The European Union, United States and other western countries have imposed several rounds of sanctions against Iranian security officials and entities in response to the brutal state crackdown.