In a tirade reminiscent of those frequently heard from Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in the early days of his country’s civil war, Iran’s Supreme Ruler, the Ayatollah Khamenei, accused “enemies” – outsiders meddling in Iran’s internal affairs, encouraging protests and demonstrations – of being behind the worsening instability. He said, “The enemies have united and are using all their means, money, weapons… to create problems for the Islamic regime.” President Rouhani has asked French President Macron to move against an Iranian exile group living in France that he and the Ayatollah say are fomenting the situation in Iran from afar. Street rallies have been a daily feature for the past week in several Damascus neighborhoods as well as the cities of Ahvaz, Hamdan and Isfahan, while the death toll stands at more than twenty and almost 500 protesters jailed. As the situation fails to improve, it appears the role played by the feared Revolutionary Guard is set to increase. On Tuesday, the vice-commander of the Guard warned, “We won’t allow, in any way, the lack of security in Iran.” On Wednesday, the government set its own counterdemonstrations into the streets in three cities. In Kermanshah, Ilam and Gorgan, government loyalists marched while holding posters of the Ayatollah and Iranian flags.