Iranian Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri claimed that the CIA, aided by intelligence support from Israel and financing from Saudi Arabia, is behind the nationwide protests against the regime.
In an interview with the state-run news agency IRNA, Montazeri said the CIA received help from exiled Iranian groups and planned to turn the protest into an “armed” insurrection by mid-February, the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Hundreds were arrested and 21 were killed in a week of protests that tapered off on Thursday.
A senior Trump administration official disputed any US role in the protests, saying it had not expected them to occur.
“The protests were entirely spontaneously generated,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a video earlier in the week denying the accusation of Israeli interference, while at the same time encouraging the protests.
In response to the Iranian accusations, the Russian government warned the US not to meddle in Iranian affairs.
“We warn the U.S. against attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the state news agency Tass on Thursday.