Inside Story

What message is Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sending to Iran, world?

Iran’s Supreme Leader praises security forces who have cracked down on protesters.

No concessions — that is the thrust of a long and defiant speech by Iran’s Supreme Leader.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejected protesters’ demands for reforms, calling them rioters.

He was addressing members of the Basij, a paramilitary group.

Hundreds of demonstrators have been killed since the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody in September.

The protests have become one of the biggest challenges to Iran’s clerical leadership since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Presenter: Sohail Rahman


Hassan Ahmadian – assistant professor of Middle East Studies, University of Tehran

Roxane Farmanfarmaian – lecturer on Middle East politics, Cambridge University

Doug Bandow – senior fellow, Cato Institute