Iran’s Khamenei says enemies will fail to destroy foundations of Islamic Republic

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Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said Friday that enemies of the Islamic Republic will fail to destroy its foundations, as protesters continued to call for the downfall of its rulers despite a violent and wide-ranging crackdown.

“They (the enemies) thought they could uproot the tree (of the Islamic Republic). That small tree has now turned into a massive tree. Anyone who even thinks about uprooting this tree is completely wrong,” addressing audiences in Imam Khomeini congregation hall in Tehran.

Iranian officials have repeatedly dismissed the unrest sparked by the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody as a purported Western plot, without providing evidence.

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Gathering information about the demonstrations remains difficult amid the internet restrictions and the arrests of at least 40 journalists in the country, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Iran’s government insists 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was not mistreated, but her family says her body showed bruises and other signs of beating after she was detained for violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code.

It remains unclear how many people have been killed or arrested so far in the protests.

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