Iran’s problems being manipulated: AKP spokesperson Ünal

Iran’s problems being manipulated: AKP spokesperson Ünal

Iran’s problems being manipulated: AKP spokesperson Ünal

Iran is facing very serious manipulation, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Mahir Ünal said late on Jan. 2 while commenting on the political turmoil in the neighboring country.

Speaking in an interview with private broadcaster CNN Türk, Ünal said “some global powers” had intervened in Iran’s social and economic problems.

“If you have some problems, the problems you are experiencing are inevitably turned to an advantage by your opponents. These [problems] are manipulated by them,” he said.

“Right now, Iran is experiencing this, facing very serious manipulation when we look at the statements from America, especially [President Donald] Trump.”

Trump said the U.S. is “watching” events unfold in Iran, writing on Twitter that the Iranian “people have little food, big inflation and no human rights.”

Without directly blaming the U.S. for the protests in Iran, Ünal said the U.S. “wants to make a regional transformation in line with its interests in the region.”

Thousands of Iranians hit the streets beginning on Dec. 29 in the northeastern cities of Mashhad and Kashmar to protest rising commodity prices and perceived government mismanagement, according to local media reports. The demonstrations have since spread, including to the capital Tehran.

At least 23 people have been killed and more than 500 reportedly detained since the demonstrations began, including 200 in Tehran.

Other arrests were reported in the cities of Arak, Isfahan and Robat Karim and West Azerbaijan province.