Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri warned regional countries on Saturday that if it could be proved that they had stoked recent protests in the country, then consequences would ensue.
“Some countries of the region must know that if clues are found that they have been involved in provoking riots inside Iran, then their goose is cooked … because Iran is not a country to be joked with in this way or to tolerate such behaviors,” said Jahangiri, according to Iran’s Fars News Agency.
Countries in the region must “behave with utmost respect towards Iran,” said Jahangiri, and “will receive a crushing blow if it is found that foreigners have intervened in the domestic affairs of Iran and have inflicted costs and damages on the Iranian nation.”
Earlier on Saturday, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps spokesman Brig. Gen. Ramezan Sharif accused the United States, Israel and the Gulf states of playing a role in the demonstrations.
“Even Saudis and some Emiratis, as well as some intelligence services, contributed to these events to stoke insecurity inside the country,” said Sharif, according to Fars.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that Iran had requested an additional $2 billion loan from Russia for projects such as the construction of thermal power plants, hydroelectric power plants, railroads and subway carriages, according to a Reuters report.
“They’re asking for about $2 billion. … They say they were promised $5 billion in 2015. … We had loans allocated to them, they ask us to bring the total amount up to $5 billion,” said Novak.
Thousands have taken to the streets in cities across Iran in recent days to protest the ruling elite’s economic policies.
While the protests have been blamed on the government’s recent decision to raise the price of petrol by 50 percent, analysts contend that they are likely also a manifestation of widespread and growing public discontent with their government diverting much-needed funds to support international terrorism.