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Khamenei declares victory as Tehran claims protests slowing

Iran's supreme leader says that a security "conspiracy" has been defeated after a heavy-handed crackdown crushed nationwide protests against gasoline price hikes.

"Let all friends and foes know that we pushed back the enemy in the recent security war," Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared in a speech Nov. 19. Khamenei was referring to a wave of deadly demonstrations that has gripped the Islamic Republic since last Friday after an overnight announcement of higher gasoline prices and a contentious rationing scheme.

The protests, according to Khamenei, were not the "people's job" but a "security" conspiracy now thwarted. The 80-year-old leader added that his country will experience the same victory in the "economic war" — a recurrent term in Iranian official discourse describing US sanctions that have drastically dwindled ordinary Iranians' purchasing power.

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