The protests for freedom have drawn in hundreds of thousands of people across the nation for several days – the boldest challenge to Iran’s leadership since 2009. They may be killing people, but there are reports of security forces refusing to kill their own people. The situation is fluid.
Enemedia outlets such as The New York Times are reporting on President Rouhani’s conciliatory words (while his government is killing people). And old leftist dinosaurs such as The Atlantic insist that it is President Trump who “doesn’t understand what’s happening in Iran.” But they do.
Protesters in Iran: “Be quiet. He’s going to say something.”
Regime officer to protesters: “I did not become a soldier to fight you [my own people].”
Protesters cheer and shout: “Stand by us, stand by us.” #IranProtests pic.twitter.com/yq6WOJ4vrn
— Armin Navabi (@ArminNavabi) January 2, 2018
SKY News: State TV said 10 people were killed in street protests in several cities on Sunday night. It gave no further details but said more than 400 people had been arrested.
Fresh demonstrations also broke out in the capital Tehran on Monday night.
Local media showed burning cars, but reports on social media claimed it involved relatively small groups chanting anti-regime slogans.
Two other protesters were also killed on Saturday in the western town of Dorud during an overnight rally, according to the governor of Lorestan province.
Number updated to 13 dead.
The New York Times reports:
As Iranian Protesters Dig In, Officials Warn of Harsher Response
TEHRAN — Ignoring pleas for calm from President Hassan Rouhani, Iranian protesters took to the streets in several cities for the fifth day on Monday as pent-up economic and political frustrations boiled over in the broadest display of discontent in years.
Note the Times reportage. While slaughtering their own people, The Times sympathetically writes, “Ignoring pleas for calm from President Hassan Rouhani”
The Iranian government responded with conciliatory words from Mr. Rouhani, but also a widening security clampdown — and a pledge late Monday to crack down even harder.
While slaughtering their own people, The Times sympathetically writes, “The Iranian government responded with conciliatory words from Mr. Rouhani,”
“We will not at all let insecure situation to continue in Tehran,” Brig. Gen Esmaeil Kowsari, deputy chief of the main Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps base in Tehran, told the semiofficial ISNA news agency. “If this situation continues, the officials will definitely make some decisions and at that point this business will be finished.”
Despite Mr. Rouhani’s diplomatic language, it was clear the demonstrators would be given no leeway.
On Monday, a crackdown by the government and security services was building, and riot police officers with water cannons were out in full force in Tehran, the capital.
The death toll from the clashes was up to at least 12, and in the central province of Esfahan, one police officer was reported killed and three wounded in a gunfight. “An agitator exploited the current situation, and using a hunting rifle, opened fire on police forces,” state television reported.
In all, about 200 people have so far been arrested in Tehran alone since the protests began Thursday, one security official told the ISNA news agency. There were arrests in provincial towns as well.
Mr. Rouhani has urged demonstrators to avoid violence but defended their right to protest. He did so again on Monday on Twitter.
“People want to talk about economic problems, corruption and lack of transparency in the function of some of the organs and want the atmosphere to be more open,” he wrote. “The requests and demands of the people should be taken note of.”
The protests are not just the largest in Iran since 2009. They also suggest a rejiggering of some traditional divisions.
People who live in rural provinces, long viewed as supporters of the authorities, are now leading most of the demonstrations. And while people in Tehran have also taken to the street, the capital is not the center of the protests, as it was during the so-called Green Movement in 2009. In Tehran, many middle-class Iranians share the discontent but also fear insecurity.
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