Admiral Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, was interviewed on Lebanese Mayadeen TV on January 1, 2018. Admiral Shamkhani, referring to the protests in Iran, stated that “the Internet and the hashtags constitute a proxy war against the Iranian people.” He claimed that “27-29% of the participants” in the protests throughout Iran are Saudis and that the executors of this plot are Israelis and Westerners. “They will receive an appropriate response from Iran, from where they do not anticipate it,” said Admiral Shamkhani. In addition, he said that U.S. President Trump had asked to meet with Iranian President Rouhani at the recent UN General Assembly, but had been rejected.
Ali Shamkhani: As I have said, the Internet and the hashtags constitute a proxy war against the Iranian people. It turns out that 27-29% of the participants [in the protests] are from Saudi Arabia. This is not the Saudi people but the Saudi government of Mohammad bin Salman. The executors of this [plot] are Israelis and Westerners. As you have said, they have established an entire organization. They have used people from outside Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has spent money, has established agencies, and has guided people and experts in the framework of a political plan. The hypocrites are pawns in the hands of this organization. They will receive an appropriate response from Iran, from where they do not anticipate it.
Interviewer: Did Trump ask to meet President Rouhani?
Ali Shamkhani: Yes.
Ali Shamkhani: During the recent meeting of the U.N. General Assembly.
Interviewer: That was only a few days ago.
Ali Shamkhani: Right. It was about a month ago.
Interviewer: What was the Iranian response?
Ali Shamkhani: No.
Interviewer: So President Rouhani refused to meet Trump?
Ali Shamkhani: Of course. You cannot describe a country, its people, and its president as "terrorist," and then ask to meet him.