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Iran’s supreme leader blames foreign ‘enemies’ for protests as death toll rises to 21

Iran’s supreme leader broke his silence Tuesday on the anti-government protests erupting across the country, blaming the deadly unrest on foreign “enemies.”

“During the escapades of the past several days, Iran’s enemies, using the various tools at their disposal, including money, weapons, politics and security apparatus, have allied [with one another] to create problems for the Islamic establishment,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying by state media in his first comments on the unrest that began Thursday.

Iran would be saved, Khamenei said, by “the spirit of courage, sacrifice and faith within the nation.”

Khamenei made the remarks during a weekly meeting with families of martyred soldiers, but indicated on Twitter that he would deliver a more detailed address on the protests “when the time is right.”

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