Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed the country's worst unrest in decades as "enemy" interference and warned that protests and riots would not be tolerated in his first speech Friday since the disputed elections that saw Mahmoud Ahmadinejad win a second four-year term.
After a week of protests, Khamenei denied accusations that the elections were rigged and labelled Ahmadinejad the "absolute" winner of 24.5 million out of 40 million votes and said the 11 million-vote margin shows the result was accurate.
Tens of thousands of people gathered at Tehran University where Khamenei warned that "street protests are not acceptable" and urged those who want to pursue complaints to do so from within the system.
"It would be wrong to think that turning out on the street would be a way to force officials to accept your demands," he warned, adding protests "challenge democracy," in light of the worst mass protests in the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution.
Khamenei accused "agents" of the West and Zionism of operating inside Iran and said they were the ones who started the riots in which cars were burned and property damaged as well as killing eight people.
Hours after Khamenei's speech, the United Kingdom summoned its Iranian ambassador to complain about the speech in which the leader labeled Britain "the most evil" of Iran's enemies and European Union leaders called on the republic to allow peaceful protests.
The crowd chanted "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" as the leader accused Western and Zionist governements of sowing discord and using their media to make the elections look like a national failure.
"The Zionist controlled media is trying to show you that there is a fight between those who support the state and those who do not support the state," Khamenei told the crowd.
"All the candidates support the state," the leader said, despite the fact there was no sign of reformist candidates Mir Hossien Mousavi or Mehdi Karroubi or former premier Mohammad Khatami.
The Zionist controlled media is trying to show you that there is a fight between those who support the state and those who do not support the state
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
The only candidate present was Ahmedinejad's conservative rival Mohsen Rezai.
The leader also addressed Ahmadinejad's' recent scathing remarks of former president and current chairman of the Assembly of Experts, Hashemi Rafsanjani, and said he has not been accused of financial corruption, a reference to the incumbent's accusations during electoral debates that Rafsanjani was involved in corruption and fraud.
With regards to U.S. criticism of the heavy-handed police tactics being used on protestors, Khamenei sarcastically noted Iran did not need human rights advice from those are not even concerned about human rights.