Iran Stages ‘Counter-Protests’ to Distract from Popular Outrage Against Islamic Theocracy

In this photo provided by Tasnim News Agency, women hold posters showing portraits of late Iranian revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during a pro-government rally in the holy city of Qom, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. Tens of thousands of Iranians took part in pro-government …
Mohammad Ali Marizad/Tasnim News Agency via AP

The government of state sponsor of terrorism Iran, in an apparent effort to distract from the financial woes and political unrest fueling rallies that have been raging for days, has organized anti-U.S., pro-Islamist demonstrations on its behalf.

Iran’s state-controlled media is also attempting to portray the authentic demonstrations as public outcry over the United States, hiding the open rebellion against Iran’s Islamic leadership that has been feeding the rallies.

“The demonstrators also chanted anti-US and anti-Israeli slogans in the rallies, reaffirming commitment to the Islamic Republic and pledging support for the country’s security and stability,” alleges the regime-aligned Tasnim News Agency.

Meanwhile, the state-owned Press TV reiterates, “The participants further shouted slogans against the United States and the Israeli regime, which welcomed the turmoil and voiced support for the riots.”

“US President Donald Trump has angered Iranians by repeatedly posting insulting tweets against the nation in recent days,” the outlet claimed.

Referring to the wave of anti-government rallies, deemed the largest since the disputed 2009 presidential election, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, declared the defeat of the “sedition” in Iran on Wednesday.

Echoing Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Gen. Jafari reportedly blamed the demonstrations on “anti-revolutionary agents, pro-monarchists and forces which he said had been ‘announced by [former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton to create riot, anarchy, insecurity and intrigue in Iran.'”

Despite the top general declaring, “Today, we can say that this is the end of the … sedition,” the Washington Post (WaPo) reports the demonstrations “do not appear to be subsiding.”

The Iranian general attributed the defeat of “enemies” fueling the rallies to “security preparedness and people’s vigilance,” noting that the Islamic Guards had only intervened in a “limited” way.

“The number of troublemakers did not exceed 15,000 people nationwide,” he added.

President Donald Trump has come out in support of the anti-government demonstrators who have been protesting since around December 28.

His comments came as “tens of thousands of people attended pro-government rallies called to counter the unrest,” reports BBC.

Referring to the rallies, which have left more than 20 people dead, Press TV claims:

Iranians from all walks of life have taken to the streets of several cities to renew their allegiance to the Islamic establishment and condemn the recent wave of deadly violence in some areas.

Last week, a number of peaceful protests over economic grievances started in several cities, but those gatherings suspiciously changed color and turned ugly when groups of participants, some of them armed, launched attacks on public property, police stations, and religious sites.

The Post notes that economic problems and resentment towards Iran’s Islamic leaders, namely the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani, is driving the protests, reporting:

On Dec. 28, protests broke out in the northern city of Mashhad, spurred at first by concern over the country’s stunted economy and the high prices of basic goods like eggs, which saw a 40 percent jump in price. Over the next six days, the protests in more than two dozen towns would turn into an open rebellion against Iran’s Islamic leadership itself.

Protesters’ chants and attacks on government buildings upended a system that had little tolerance for dissent … the protests appeared to have been initially caused by President Hassan Rouhani’s leak of a proposed government budget last month that called for slashing cash subsidies to the poor and raising fuel prices to lower debt, The Post reported. But the plan also included fees for car registration and an unpopular departure tax.

The Post goes on to explain that some demonstrators are irritated that Shiite powerhouse Iran’s ruling clerics are suppressing social freedoms and political openness.

Moreover, the protestors demand a justification for why Iran “has spent billions of dollars on foreign policy in the Middle East at a time when people are struggling at home,” points out the newspaper.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.