DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has responded publicly to the biggest protests in Iran in years, breaking weeks of silence to condemn the “rioting” and accuse protests of being planned by the U.S. and Israel. Khamenei on described the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of Iran’s morality police, which set off the nationwide protests, as “a sad incident” that “left us heartbroken.” However, he sharply condemned the protests as a foreign plot to destabilize Iran, echoing authorities’ previous comments. Demonstrations have continued in Tehran and far-flung provinces even as authorities have restricted internet access to the outside world and blocked social media apps.
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