Iran: US at 'the head of the evildoing' — Friday prayer leader on petrol protests

Tehran's interim Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ahmad Khatami accused the United States of inciting the petrol protests in the country, while addressing worshippers at a mosque in Tehran on Friday. «The United States was at the head of the evildoing. Based on their claim and, unfortunately, France and Germany accompanied as well. I hope that those who were optimistic towards them will... Еще change their minds,» he said. Khatami also blamed «the dark regime of Saudi Arabia,» saying: «they both supported financially and shared their media and also said that they dragged the riot into Iran. I hereby ask the people of Saudi Arabia, for how long do you want to be the US's servants and Israel's servants, for a century, to dominate you?» «The foes of this nation are very angry about this internet disconnection. It means you have found the wasp nest. Good job until now,» he added. Some of the worshippers were seen with headbands and banners denouncing Israel and the United States. Mohammad Abdullahi, one of the worshippers, told journalists outside the mosque, «We carry out peaceful protests and tell our authorities about our concerns but we disagree with riots and setting fire to banks.» Demonstrations protesting the government were held all across the country and turned violent since Friday, with demonstrators damaging public property and police forces firing tear gas. According to reports from human rights organisations, at least 10 people were killed during the riots. Widespread protests across the country were triggered by Iran's National Oil Company's (NIOPDC) announcement of at least a 50 percent increase in gas prices earlier on November 14. **RESTRICTIONS: NO Access Israel Media/Persian Language TV Stations Outside Iran/Strictly No Access BBC Persian/VOA Persian/Manoto-1 TV/Iran International** **RESTRICTIONS: NO Access Israel Media/Persian Language TV Stations Outside Iran/Strictly No Access BBC Persian/VOA Persian/Manoto-1 TV/Iran International**
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