Raisi: US sanctions, military failed, so it sows civil unrest in Iran

Raisi spoke at time when protests ignited by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Iran's morality policy have turned into one of the boldest challenges to the regime.

 Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi meets with Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (not pictured) on the sidelines of the Cica Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, October 13, 2022. (photo credit: Iran's President Website/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS)
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi meets with Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (not pictured) on the sidelines of the Cica Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, October 13, 2022.
(photo credit: Iran's President Website/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS)

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi accused the US of tactically sowing civil unrest in his country to overthrow the Islamic Republic now that it is clear that sanctions have failed.

“The Iranian nation has invalidated the American military option and, as they themselves have admitted, brought the policy of sanctions and maximum pressure a humiliating failure,” Raisi said Thursday at a regional conference in Kazakhstan.

"The Iranian nation has invalidated the American military option and, as they themselves have admitted, brought the policy of sanctions and maximum pressure a humiliating failure."

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi

He spoke in Persian, and an English version of his speech was posted on the Islamic Republic News Agency site.

Raisi addressed the sixth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), under whose auspices 27 nations meet every four years. This includes Iran, Russia, China, Turkey, Pakistan, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Israel, as well as the Palestinian Authority, which CICA recognizes as a state. The US is not a CICA member.

Iranian protests following the death of Mahsa Amini

Raisi spoke at a time when protests ignited by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Iran’s morality policy on September 16 have turned into one of the boldest challenges to the clerical leadership since the 1979 revolution. Raisi also addressed CICA at a point where it appears that efforts by the Biden administration and the European Union to review the 2015 Iran nuclear deal have failed.

 A police motorcycle burns during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's ''morality police'', in Tehran, Iran September 19, 2022 (credit: WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS) A police motorcycle burns during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's ''morality police'', in Tehran, Iran September 19, 2022 (credit: WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)

“Now, following America’s failure in militarization and sanctions, Washington and its allies have resorted to the failed policy of destabilization,” Raisi said.

“What has caused the success of the Iranian nation and terrified the dominators is the Iranian nation’s attention to progress based on its ‘inner strength,’” he explained.

“We have come to believe that the path to independence and prosperity of the Iranian nation is possible through ‘all-round power’ and this is only possible by relying on God, relying on the people and cooperating with friends,” Raisi said.

The US, Raisi charged, seeks to destabilize not just his country but the region, with the help of its ally Israel.

“The US and the Zionist regime have caused insecurity, violence, terrorism, war and anxiety in the region through aggression, occupation, apartheid, oppression and killing of children and civilians in Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan,” he said.

Israel was in the room at the time of Raisi’s speech. When the Israeli delegation delivered its speech in the afternoon, members of the Iranian delegation were present, but Raisi did not attend that session.

Foreign Ministry Deputy Director-General Simona Halprin, who represented Israel at the CICA, charged that it was Tehran that was destabilizing the region and the world.

“Unfortunately, one member state, Iran, undermines this principle. Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, while dragging international negotiations as a smoke screen, poses a serious risk for the region and beyond.

“Iran supports terror organizations in the Middle East such as Hezbollah, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Its destabilizing role affects not only Israel, but also countries in the region and beyond, from Bulgaria to Yemen, Iraq and Argentina,” she said.

In Washington the day before, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said it was clear to the Biden administration that Tehran was not interested in reviving the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“A deal certainly does not appear imminent. Iran’s demands are unrealistic; they go well beyond the scope of the JCPOA. Nothing we’ve heard in recent weeks suggests they have changed their position,” Price said.

With that in mind, he said, the US was focused on supporting Iranian protesters.

“Right now our focus, just as we were discussing, is on the remarkable bravery and courage that the Iranian people are exhibiting through their peaceful demonstrations, through their exercise of their universal right to freedom of assembly and to freedom of expression.

“Our focus right now is on shining a spotlight on what they’re doing and supporting them in the ways we can,” Price said.