“Iran’s supreme leader praised paramilitary volunteers tasked with quashing dissent on Saturday in a televised address as dozens of eye doctors warned that a rising number of demonstrators have been blinded by security forces during anti-government protests.
“Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed members of the Basij, the volunteer paramilitary wing of the elite Revolutionary Guard, and reiterated unsupported claims that protesters demonstrating countrywide are “tools” of the U.S. and its “mercenaries.”
“”(The) Basij should not forget that the main clash is with global hegemony,” Khamenei said, referring to the U.S. The address marking Basij week in Iran echoed previous statements lambasting the protests as a foreign plot to destabilize Iran.”
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