U.K.-based Iranian researcher Dr. Alireza Nourizadeh said in a January 14, 2020 interview on Al-Arabiya Network (Saudi Arabia) that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is responsible for the internal war in Iran and for concealing the truth about Iran’s role in downing Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752 and in killing 1,500 Iranians in the November 2019 riots. He said that Khamenei lost the “war” in Iran when the public called for his resignation and chanted slogans such as “Khamenei is a traitor!” and “Death to Khamenei!” Dr. Nourizadeh added that Khamenei is no longer in control of Iran.
Following are excerpts:
Dr. Alireza Nourizadeh: There is a real war [in Iran] and the person who is to blame more than anyone else, Khamenei, is trying to evade responsibility. He is the one who allowed the IRGC to conceal the truth [about having shot down Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752] for three days. He is the one responsible for killing 1,500 Iranians last month. He is the one who refrained from saying a single word to the families of the victims. They turned the world upside down over Qasem Soleimani. For five days, they had public mourning [ceremonies] in thousands of streets. The Leader did not say a single word about the youth who were killed on that [Ukrainian] plane. They were among the best of Iranian youth.
Host: Many people said that they had been fleeing the regime, only to die in the plane that was downed by the IRGC…
Dr. Alireza Nourizadeh: I am saying that Khamenei has lost the war. When the public in the streets calls Khamenei a traitor and chants: “Death to Khamenei! Go away! Resign!”… All these slogans… “Our Leader is a killer and his rule is null and void”… Nobody chants these slogans about Rouhani. Rouhani was trying to save face and protect his position by standing by the people and by the victims of this incident.
Khamenei is not in control. He has lost the war. He has lied to the people. He is the deputy of the Hidden Imam. The deputy of the Hidden Imam should not lie, but he did. He killed. He is responsible for killing 1,500 people a month ago.