The Iranian people love and support America and are fighting for their livelihoods, says Bryan Leib, the executive director of Iranian Americans for Liberty.
"Every time they take to the streets they are putting their lives in their hands because the Khamenei regime has a history of meeting the Iranian people in the streets with bullets," Leib told Newsmax's "American Agenda" Thursday.
"The Iranian people are fed up with this government," he said.
"Honestly, the whole world should be fed up with the Khamenei regime and that's what we're seeing right here. We're seeing protests that have turned into an uprising, which I think honestly has turned into more of a revolution because the Iranian people are sick and tired of the Khamenei regime. They want basic human rights so many Americans have and so many people around the world have and the Iranian people deserve to be free."
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Tuesday appealed for national unity and tried to allay anger against the country's rulers, even as the anti-government protests that have engulfed the country for weeks continued to spread to universities and high schools.
Raisi acknowledged that the Islamic Republic had "weaknesses and shortcomings," but repeated the official line that the unrest sparked last month by the death of a woman in the custody of the country's morality police was nothing short of a plot by Iran's enemies.
"Today, the country's determination is aimed at cooperation to reduce people's problems," he told a parliament session. "Unity and national integrity are necessities that render our enemy hopeless."
His claims echoed those of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who blamed the United States and Israel, the country's adversaries, for inciting the unrest in his first remarks on the nationwide protests on Monday. It's a familiar tactic for Iran's leaders, who have been mistrustful of Western influence since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Leib said this uprising "really looks and smells and feels different than ones in the past.
"Iranian women and men have locked arms together, which typically hasn't happened in the past," he said.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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