Khamenei: Riots in Iran were planned by Israel, US

Khamenei said the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was a "bitter incident" but that the riots were "planned."

  A woman with her hand painted with the word "Freedom" takes part in a protest following the death of Mahsa Amini, in Athens, Greece, October 1, 2022 (photo credit: REUTERS/COSTAS BALTAS)
A woman with her hand painted with the word "Freedom" takes part in a protest following the death of Mahsa Amini, in Athens, Greece, October 1, 2022
(photo credit: REUTERS/COSTAS BALTAS)

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blamed the widespread protests over the killing of Mahsa Amini on Israel, the United States, and paid Iranian dissident agents without giving any explicit evidence, saying that they were "planned by the Zionist Regime," in a speech on Monday afternoon.

Protesters have said that Amini was tortured to death over an extended period by morality police for violating Iranian moors related to women covering their heads with the religious hijab head-covering.

Global and domestic critics of Iran have demanded an independent investigation of her killing, but on Monday Khamenei clearly rejected those calls, saying that Iran's regular judiciary would probe the issue.

Iran's judiciary has itself in the past been accused of endorsing or covering up similar incidents of torturing or killing civilians for appearing to violate religious customs or dissident political views.

Khamenei also gave no deadline for results from the probe, indicating that his regime may seek to delay the outcome until the political waters are calmer in the country.

 A woman holds up a sign during a protest against the Islamic regime of Iran and the death of Mahsa Amini, outside the Iranian embassy in Mexico City, Mexico, September 27, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/Paola Garcia) A woman holds up a sign during a protest against the Islamic regime of Iran and the death of Mahsa Amini, outside the Iranian embassy in Mexico City, Mexico, September 27, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/Paola Garcia)

In comments reported by state media, Khamenei said the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini "deeply broke my heart," calling it a "bitter incident."

But he said "some people had caused insecurity in the streets," saying there had been planned "riots."

He expressed strong backing for the security forces, saying they had faced injustice during the protests.

Khamenei's main accusations against Israel, the US and their paid agents was that they have called for supporting protesters against Iran whereas they do not do so when there are protests in England, France or other countries.

Also, he said that the US had gone public about trying to assist Iranians with circumventing the government's current crack down on internet use - which he said it has not done in other countries.

Although the US does not typically support protesters in democracies against their governments, Washington has many times condemned non-democratic countries' oppression of protests.