Khameni blames fuel protests on 'Iran's enemies'

Iranian supreme leader blames 'sabotage' by 'Iran's enemies' after government doubles fuel prices, sparking protests.

Gary Willig ,

Ali Khameni
Ali Khameni

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday supported recent increases in gas and fuel protests which have sparked protests across Iran.

“Some people are no doubt worried by this decision ... but sabotage and arson is done by hooligans not our people. The counter-revolution and Iran’s enemies have always supported sabotage and breaches of security and continue to do so,” Khameini said on Iranian state television.

“Unfortunately some problems were caused, a number of people lost their lives and some centers were destroyed,” he added.

Protests erupted Saturday after the Iranian government raised the cost of regular gasoline to 15,000 rials ($0.13) a liter from 10,000 rials and instituted fuel rations. Additional liters would cost 30,000 rials.

One death was confirmed in the southeastern city of Sirjan. Several other deaths were reported on social media.

The increase in fuel prices was done in response the economic crisis Iran faces as a result of the renewed sanctions imposed by the United States.