TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami praised people for large rallies across the country in condemnation of the recent unrest in some cities, saying the mighty presence of Iranians foiled a new sedition masterminded by the US and Saudi Arabia.

Addressing Friday prayers worshippers in Tehran, Ayatollah Khatami said the massive and magnificent demonstrations against the recent sedition in Iran confirmed that Iranians remain steadfast in safeguarding the Islamic Establishment.

Pointing to the hostile ploys to harm Iran through unrest, the cleric said Saudi Arabia had funded a US plot for the gradual dispatch of arms to Iran from Iraq’s Erbil in order to overthrow the government by the next month.

He further lauded the Iranian security forces for handling the unrest, asking the Judiciary to give severe punishment to the stooges of the US that created riots with hostile intentions.

Last week, a number of peaceful protests over economic problems broke out in several Iranian cities, but the gatherings turned violent when groups of participants, some of them armed, vandalized public property and launched attacks on police stations and government buildings.

Over a dozen people have been killed in the ensuing violence, according to media reports.

Officials say many rioters arrested in the unrest have been trained by the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) or had links with the Takfiri groups.

Following the unrest, people of Iran held several demonstrations across the country to condemn the violent riots and acts of vandalism, and voice support for the Islamic Republic’s Establishment.

Iranian officials maintain that people have the right to stage protests to express their opinions, as long as rallies comply with the legal conditions.