Small group of Iranian exiles rally in Jerusalem against regime
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Small group of Iranian exiles rally in Jerusalem against regime

Waving Shah-era Iranian flags outside Old City, demonstrators express solidarity with protesters in Islamic Republic

People hold a solidarity protest with the anti-regime demonstrators in Iran, at the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, on January 2, 2018. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
People hold a solidarity protest with the anti-regime demonstrators in Iran, at the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, on January 2, 2018. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

A handful of demonstrators on Tuesday rallied outside Jerusalem’s Old City in solidarity with the anti-regime demonstrators in Iran.

The small demonstration was organized by Neda Amin, an Iranian blogger for The Times of Israel’s Persian website and critic of the Iranian regime.

Amin was allowed into Israel on humanitarian grounds in August after she contacted The Times of Israel and said her life was in danger in Turkey.

Clutching an Iranian flag from the Shah era, Amin said Iranians “want a life without a dictator and Islam.”

She said the demonstrations differed from a previous round of mass protests in 2009 over Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s election.

“This time the Iranians hope to change the regime,” she told the Ynet news site.

“Yesterday I wrote on Facebook to Iranians in Israel and Israelis: ‘Please join us Iranians and help us to replace this regime,'” she said. “We can help them from here, from Israel.”

Israelis from Iranian descent protest outside Jerusalem’s Old City in support of the current Iranian protests and against the Iranian regime on January 2, 2018. (AFP Photo/Ahmad Gharabli)

The Islamic Republic demonstrations, the largest seen in Iran since its disputed 2009 presidential election, have brought six days of unrest across the country and resulted in at least 21 deaths.

In his first comments on the protests, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday blamed the demonstrations on “enemies of Iran,” who he said were meddling in its internal affairs.

In comments posted to his official website, Khamenei appeared to blame foreign nations for at least exacerbating the unrest gripping Iran.

“In the recent days’ incidents, enemies of Iran utilized various means — including money, weapons, politics and intelligence apparatuses — to create problems for the Islamic system,” he said, in his first public remarks since the demonstrations began.

Khamenei said he would elaborate further in the coming days. Iranian leaders often accuse the United States, Israel and Britain of seeking to overthrow the clerically overseen government.

On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed support for the “heroic” demonstrators protesting against the “cruel regime” in Tehran.

He dismissed any notion of any Israeli connection to the protests, saying such claims were “laughable.”

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