After Iran had recognized that it is partially responsible for the catastrophe with the Ukrainian plane, anti-government protests began in the country. The world media is actively covering the events in Iran as popular outrage by the “Ayatollah regime.” What really caused the new wave of protest in Iran and what will be its consequences?
The protest of the “rich kids”
The cities of Tehran and Shiraz became the main centers of protest. Major unrests are also reported in Isfahan and Rasht. The main backbone of protesters is students of technical and medical universities. They mainly represent the wealthy and most westernized part of society (middle and upper and middle classes) . The total number of protesters is several thousand people across the country.
This is quite a lot by Western standards, but not comparable to the millions who participated in anti-American actions after the assassination of Qassem Soleimani .
It is worth noting that among the victims of the plane crash in Tehran there were mainly Iranians – representatives of wealthy social classes, including Iranians with Canadian passports. The affinity factor cannot be discounted. It is this part of the population that is most susceptible to Western propaganda and is weighed down by the restrictions imposed on them by the regime of the Islamic Republic.
Some representatives of the working class also joined the protesters. However, they rather used the protests as an occasion to remind of their dissatisfaction with the suppression of riots in late 2019 caused by higher gas prices.
A formal reason to express their displeasure for the protesters was a “lie” on the part of the authorities, who for a long time did not admit that the Ukrainian Boeing was shot down by an Iranian missile. At the same time, this reason was used to voice slogans directed against the regime of the Islamic Republic and personally Rahbar Ali Khamenei . Protesters also filmed a video of how they pluck portraits of Kassem Suleimani from the walls.
Propaganda machine of war
Almost immediately, the protests were supported by US President Donald Trump. On his Twitter page, he wrote that the United States is “inspired by the courage” of the protesters.
به مردم شجاع و رنج کشیده ایران: من از ابتدای دوره ریاست جمهوریم با شما ایستادهام و دولت من همچنان با شما خواهد ایستاد. ما اعتراضات شما را از نزدیک دنبال می کنیم. شجاعت شما الهام بخش است.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2020
At the same time, the US President demanded that the government of the Islamic Republic allow human rights defenders to monitor protests in the country. According to him, “there can not be another massacre of peaceful protesters, nor an internet shutdown”
At the same time, at one of the rallies in the capital of the Islamic Republic, law enforcement officers briefly detained the British ambassador Rob Macaire . Later, the Iranian agency Tasnim published a video ,where Rob Macaire and a his companion were attending an illegal gathering in Tehran.
— Tasnim News Agency (@Tasnimnews_EN) January 13, 2020
The Iranian authorities, despite Trump’s calls, temporarily turned off the Internet in the country in order to stop calls for protests. The reason is because some of the calls are disseminated by numerous pro-Western Iranian diaspora in the US and Europe, which consists from the enemies of the Islamic revolution of 1979 expelled from the country.
It is the Iranian emigrant activists who work in the interests of Washington, and are determined to fight the Islamic Republic, who are now actively engaged in promoting information about the protests in the country on social networks.
🔴Here is Iran.
— Mohammad Mozafari (@mohmd_mozafari) January 12, 2020
In this case, the classic patterns of “color revolutions” are used – the confrontation of armed police and unarmed protesters, the authorities accused of shooting peaceful protesters and even killings without any serious proof.
The United States, Israel and their allies are using protests to pressure Iran, undermine its government and weaken the country
— Dan Poraz (@PorazDan) January 11, 2020
The so-called “People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran” (PMOI / MEK ), a pro-American terrorist organization, is taking an active part in the dissemination of information about the protests.
I urge UN Sec. Gen., Sec. Council, EU member states & HR orgs. To take urgent action for the release of those arrested & refer regime’s crimes to the Sec. Council & hold mullahs’ leaders to account. #IranProtests #Iran
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) January 13, 2020
It is worth recalling that parliamentary elections will be held in Iran on February 21, 2020. The occasion will surely be used by pro-Western forces and their patrons abroad as an excuse to organize a new wave of protests.
It is unlikely that the protests, which only have the support of a limited portion of the population, will actually lead to the regime change Washington is hoping to inspire… however, the US’ actions could seriously aggravate internal contradictions within Iran. The assassination of Suleimani unified part of Iranian society, while the downed Boeing jet brought together the another… the risk of heavy clashes within Iranian society is increasing.
Trump’s tweet in Farsi in which he called for continued unrest in Iran has already garnered more than 200,000 likes.
However, this is not at all evidence of support for Trump within Iran, especially considering the fact that Twitter is not even available in the country. Most of those who liked Trump’s tweet were his Anglo-Saxon compatriots or Iranian emigres.
— Ivar Farhadi (@FarhadiIvar) January 12, 2020
Western media has virtually ignored the fact that Iranians are also protesting against interference in their country’s affairs. Recently, a major rally opposing foreign intervention took place near the British embassy.
The main goal of Washington’s information warfare campaign is to exaggerate the seriousness and reach of those Iranian protests supported by leading Western powers and their news agencies in order to get Americans and the rest of the world to believe that there is a strong anti-government movement in Iran, creating the impression that everyone in the country is waiting for a regime change and would support intervention.
When Americans are convinced that this is the case, it will be easier to justify the government’s aggressive steps against Iran,up to and including open military aggression (they have even attempted to present information that Soleimani is not considered a hero in Iran!). The information campaign’s existence in itself indirectly shows the intention of US authorities to further escalate tensions with Iran.