Iran’s prosecutor general has blamed the ongoing protests in the country on a CIA operation, accusing the CIA of seeking help from exiled Iranians, and getting support from both the Israeli government and Saudi Arabia.
There is as yet no public proof that the US is behind the protests, though the narrative sells well within Iran because of the long history of Iran being subjected to foreign intervention, and the long US history of backing foreign “revolutions.”
The State Department has estimated Iran has arrested over 1,000 people related to the protests, condemning them in “strongest terms” and insisting the protesters have legitimate aspirations.
The State Department went on to say that the US has “ample authority” to hold Iranian officials accountable for any attempts to censor of commit violence against the protesters, saying that the demonstrators “will not be forgotten.”
These comments, and President Trump’s unusually loud endorsement of the Iranian protesters, is likely to add to the sense this is a US operation, though it may simply be a convenient opportunity to pick a fight with Iran, something President Trump has openly advocated for awhile.
The threat to hold Iran “accountable” seems to be a way for the State Department to shoehorn a threat of direct intervention against Iran into the narrative, and is in keeping with President Trump’s past promise to do something at the “appropriate” time.