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Iran 40 years of Islamic suppression since the revolution

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:44 am
Author: Anthea
Reactions To Widespread Protests In Iran
Ayatollahs Divided - Opposition Upbeat

While protests against high unemployment, a stagnant economy with inflationary prices and expensive overseas military interventions are spreading unpredictably fast in several cities in Iran, Friday prayer-leaders seem to be divided over the uprising.

In Iran’s second most populous city, Mashhad, where the protests began, the Friday prayer-leader, mid-ranking clergy, Ahmad Alam al-Hoda sympathized with the protesters who had lost their assets held in bankrupt financial and credit institutions.

“Their protest, as well as other people’s reaction to high prices are unquestionably just”, Alam al-Hoda said, Friday, December 29.

However, he immediately asked the congregation, “Is it right to prepare food for hostile media which have no tools to lambast us other than propagating sedition?”

The term “hostile media” is used by the Islamic Republic for opposition and independent outlets publishing or broadcasting news into Iran, including U.S. financed Voice of America Persian television and Radio Free Europe’s Persian Radio Farda.

On Friday, protests spread to Kermanshah in the west, Tehran, Esfahan in central Iran, Rasht in the north, Ahvaz in the southwest and even Qom, the religious capital of Shiite clergy in Iran.

In an unprecedented comment, the head of Mashhad's revolutionary court, Hossein Haydari has also admitted, "We consider protest to be the people's right but if some people want to abuse these emotions and ride this wave, we won't wait and will confront them."

Meanwhile, Friday prayer-leader in the city of Kashmar branded the protests as “A new plan of enemies to overthrow the Islamic Republic ruling system in Iran”.

Calling protesters “Anti-Islam, Israeli and American”, Kazem Tabatabaei urged the government and security forces to confront them and do not let a “bunch of ignoble persons force the country into chaos”.

Sabzevar’s Friday prayer-leader, Gholamreza Moqisseh also accused the protesters as feeders of hostile media and the ruling system’s enemies.

Northern city of Rasht witnessed noisy protests on the second day of anti-Islamic Republic outbursts

The Friday prayer-leader in Hamadan, Ghiathuddin Taha Mohammadi admitted that people’s protests against inflated prices are justified, but “They should be insightful because the enemy has been waiting in ambush since [last May’s presidential] election”.

The Supreme Leader, ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani have not yet reacted to the spontaneous uprisings.

Nevertheless, Rouhani’s Vice president, Eshaq Jahangiri believes that anti-Rouhani administration forces are behind the widespread unrests.

“Those who are organizing these assemblies will definitely not be the last one laughing”, Jahangiri warned.

Opposition groups outside Iran have welcomed the protests as a totally justified reaction of the people who are unable to make ends meet.
On Friday, protests first started in Kermanshah. Security forces clash with protesters

Exiled former Crown Prince of Iran, Reza Pahlavi, whose father and grandfather were praised by some of the protesters, wrote in his Telegram Channel, “My dear compatriots”, you have chosen the right path, “there’s no other way to force the criminal cult members [the leaders of the Islamic Republic] to submit to your will”.

“Long live Reza Shah”, a reference to the first Pahlavi king who is deemed as the architect of modern Iran. Reza Shah was also well-known for his secular politics. Another slogan was “Iran haphazard, without the Shah”, apparently referring to the late king of Iran, Mohammadreza Shah Pahlavi, who was forced into exile in 1979 giving way to the rise of a theocracy in Iran.

Prince Reza Pahlavi urged people of Iran to step in and support citizens of Mashhad in their “No to High Prices” movement, “The uprising, once again showed that overthrowing theocracy in Iran is a national demand”.
In this video received from Qom, protesters chant "God bless your soul Reza Shah"

Paris based leader of an organization trying to overthrow the ruling system in Iran, Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), Marayam Rajavi also praised the uprisings as a “heroic move”, adding, “[Almost] four-decade record of the mullahs’ (clergy) rule has been nothing but inflation, poverty and corruption, torture and execution, killings and aggression”.

Mrs. Rajavi predicted, “The corrupt dictatorship of the mullahs will undoubtedly fail against your national unity and solidarity, resistance and continuity of your rightful uprisings.”

“No to High Prices” uprising has been widely reported all over the world.

Referring to the “billions in sanctions relief the Islamic republic secured through the nuclear deal”, Arkansas Republican senator Tom Cotton wrote on his Twitter account, the ayatollahs still can't provide for the basic needs of their own people-perhaps because they've funneled so much of that money into their campaign of regional aggression in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen”.

Senator Cotton has also insisted, “The protests in Mashhad show that a regime driven by such a hateful ideology cannot maintain broad popular support forever, and we should support the Iranian people who are willing to risk their lives to speak out against it." ... 46510.html

Re: Iran Protests - Ayatollahs Divided - Opposition Upbeat

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:56 pm
Author: Piling
If only it would oblige Iran to let Kurdistan free…

Re: Iran Protests - Ayatollahs Divided - Opposition Upbeat

PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:05 am
Author: Anthea
Women protesting forced hijab days after the Iranian Revolution, 1979

On 8 March 1979, more than 100,000 women gathered on the streets of the Iranian capital to protest against the new Islamic government’s compulsory hijab ruling, which meant that women would henceforth be required to wear a headscarf when away from home. The protest was held on International Women’s Day, and the images show women from all walks of life — nurses, students, mothers — marching, smiling, arms raised in protest.

More than 100,000 Iranian women protested the headscarf

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini severely curtailed rights that women had become accustomed to under the shah. Within months of the founding of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the 1967 Family Protection Law was repealed; female government workers were forced to observe Islamic dress code; women were barred from becoming judges; beaches and sports were sex-segregated; the legal age of marriage for girls was reduced to 9 (later raised to 13); and married women were barred from attending regular schools.

Ladies believed change could be effected by demonstrating in the streets

Almost immediately women protested these policies. The Islamic revolution is ideologically committed to inequality for women in inheritance and other areas of the civil code; and especially committed to segregation of the sexes. Many places, from “schoolrooms to ski slopes to public buses”, are strictly segregated.

From the next day everybody had to wear the scarf

The hijab today in Iran includes the choice of either a chador or a roopoosh and veil. The chador is a highly modest, usually black or dark outfit that covers the top of a woman’s head and loosely covers her body to her feet. The roopoosh or manteau is a long top similar to a trench coat. “The dress needs to be appropriate according to the Islamic custom of hijab (veil): women are not required to be veiled in front of mahramrelatives such as husband, father, son, brother, but are required to be “modest” if they are likely to be seen by na-mahram males”.

The spontaneous uprising of both women and men on March 8, 1979, was an effort
“to protect the achievements of women’s right in the [preceding] 70 years of Iranian history”

“Bad hijab” ― exposure of any part of the body other than hands and face – is subject to punishment of up to 70 lashes or 60 days imprisonment. In April 2007, the Tehran police, (which is under Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s supervision), began the most fierce crackdown on what is known as “bad hijab” in more than a decade. In the capital Tehran thousands of Iranian women were cautioned over their poor Islamic dress and several hundred arrested. ... ijab-1979/

Re: Iranian women protesting being forced to wear hijab 1979

PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:14 pm
Author: Anthea
Iran protests: 'Iron fist' threatened if unrest continues

Iran's Revolutionary Guards have warned anti-government protesters they will face the nation's "iron fist" if political unrest continues.

Three days of demonstrations over falling living standards have become the biggest show of dissent since huge pro-reform rallies in 2009.

A Revolutionary Guards commander said the protests had degenerated into people chanting political slogans and burning public property.

Two protesters died of gunshot wounds.

The authorities in Dorud in western Iran said security forces did not open fire on demonstrators, and blamed the deaths instead on Sunni Muslim extremists and foreign powers.

Protesters in the cities of Khoramabad, Zanjan and Ahvaz called for the removal or death of Iran's Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps is a powerful force with ties to the country's supreme leader, and is dedicated to preserving the country's Islamic system.

Brigadier-General Esmail Kowsari told the ISNA news agency: "If people came into the streets over high prices, they should not have chanted those slogans and burned public property and cars."

Iran's interior minister has also warned the public that protesters will be held accountable.

"Those who damage public property, disrupt order and break the law must be responsible for their behaviour and pay the price," Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli said.

"The spreading of violence, fear and terror will definitely be confronted."

What has been happening?

Protests began in the north-eastern city of Mashhad on Thursday and spread to other major cities on Friday.

A small demonstration in Tehran grew to several thousand people on Saturday, and students clashed with police. The protests also became violent in several other towns.

Among the recent events across Iran:

    In Abhar, demonstrators set fire to large banners bearing the picture of the supreme leader

    In Arak, protesters reportedly set fire to the local headquarters of the pro-government Basij militia

    In Mashhad, protesters burned police motorcycles in a confrontation caught on video

    The CEO of popular mobile messaging app Telegram said an Iranian account had been suspended for calling for attacks on police

    There are numerous reports of people losing internet access on their mobile phones

    Street protests have been reported in a number of other towns and cities, including Kermanshah, Shahrekord, Bandar Abbas, Izeh, Zanjan, Karaj, Tonekabon and Khorramabad

BBC Persian correspondent Kasra Naji said a common factor in all locations has been protesters' demand for an end to clerical rule in Iran.

There is also anger at Iran's interventions abroad. In Mashhad, some chanted "not Gaza, not Lebanon, my life for Iran", a reference to what protesters say is the administration's focus on foreign rather than domestic issues.

Iran is a key provider of military support to the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. It is also accused of providing arms to Houthi rebels fighting a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, which it denies, and is an ally of Lebanon's powerful Shia movement Hezbollah.

BBC Persian, which broadcasts on TV, on radio and online from London, is banned in Iran - where staff and their families routinely face harassment and questioning from the authorities.

What has been the response, at home and abroad?

The Iranian authorities are blaming anti-revolutionaries and agents of foreign powers for the outbreak.

Also on Saturday, thousands of pro-government demonstrators turned out for pre-arranged rallies to mark the eighth anniversary of the suppression of the 2009 street protests.

The US has led international support for the protesters.

President Donald Trump tweeted: "Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever, and the day will come when the Iranian people will face a choice. The world is watching!"

Iran's foreign ministry called earlier comments from Mr Trump and other US officials "opportunistic and deceitful".

Who are the Revolutionary Guards?

Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) was set up shortly after the 1979 Iranian revolution to defend the country's Islamic system.

It has since become a major force in the political, economic and military life of the country, with its own ground forces, navy and air force. It controls a volunteer militia of tens of thousands of people - the Basij Resistance Force.

The IRGC sometimes works alongside police, and it was announced in December that it would do this again.

Its stature says it will co-operate with law enforcement forces "when necessary" but there has been some controversy over its scope when dealing with civilians.

Link to Article - Photos - Video:

Re: Iran: women protesting hijab 1979 and recent protests

PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:10 pm
Author: Anthea
Iran blocks Instagram and Telegram apps
Government protesters will ‘pay the price’ for unrest

Iran on Sunday blocked Instagram and the messaging app Telegram, official media reported, after three days of anti-government unrest spread across the country. Two demonstrators were killed over the weekend, an official said.

The move was aimed at blunting the largest protests in Iran since a 2009 uprising over disputed election results, and that appear to have caught Iran’s leadership off guard.

Authorities were “temporarily” blocking the social media apps, both of which are popular with Iranians, to “maintain peace” amid the growing demonstrations, state television said Sunday. Many demonstrators had used the apps to share and upload videos from the protests.

Telegram CEO Pavel Durov wrote on Twitter that Iran was “blocking access to Telegram for the majority of Iranians after our public refusal to shut down . . . peacefully protesting channels.”

NOTE: While Telegram is an entirely innocent messaging service, it is also one of the main messaging services used by insurgents and activists due to it's ability to contact 20,000 people simultaneously with messages that self-destruct once read - leaving no trace

Iran’s government warned protesters after a night of attacks on government buildings and confrontations with police that they would pay a “heavy price” for breaking the law. Authorities there have a history of brutally repressing unauthorized protests and political dissent.

An official in western Iran confirmed the deaths of two demonstrators who protesters said had been shot and killed. The official deputy-governor of Lorestan province, Habibollah Khojastehpour suggested they had been shot either by “foreign agents” or Sunni militants he claimed infiltrated the area.

“No bullets were shot from police and security forces at the people,” Khojastehpour said on state television Sunday, the Associated Press reported.

President Trump on Sunday also commented on the unrest, saying on Twitter that the “USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!”

The demonstrations began Thursday over economic woes but swiftly expanded to target a system many protesters have said is corrupt and incapable of reform. In stunning scenes, protesters were seen changing "down with the dictator!" as they tore down posters of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in central Tehran.

Protesters Saturday defied police from Kermanshah in the west to the holy city of Qom in the north and Ahvaz southwest of the capital, according to footage circulated online. Some of those images could not be confirmed.

"Big protests in Iran. The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism," Trump said Sunday. "Looks like they will not take it any longer."

But Rouhani, a moderate who appealed to reformists and reelected to a second term in a landslide in May, had yet to address the nation. And reports in local media that he planned to give a speech Sunday were quickly denied.

Both reformists and conservatives struggled to respond to the demonstrations with a unified message. Each side has blamed the other, while internally the camps were split over the legitimacy of the protests.

Allies of Rouhani, including his reformist vice president, Eshaq Jahangiri, initially suggested his political opponents had orchestrated the demonstrations. But as the protests escalated, and many chanted for the return of Iran's monarchy, many conservatives soon disavowed the protesters and have called for a tougher response.

Rouhani has come under fire for failing to deliver on key economic promises he said would follow a nuclear deal with world powers, after which international sanctions on Iran were lifted.

The economy has indeed grown, and the International Monetary Fund has forecasted real GDP growth to reach 4.2 percent in 2017/18. But that boost has largely been due to renewed oil exports, and non-oil sector growth has lagged significantly behind. ... 4c24a12fe7

Re: Iran: women protesting hijab 1979 and recent protests

PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:46 pm
Author: Anthea
Q&A: What’s happening with Iran’s ongoing protests?
By Jon Gambrell | AP

Travel restrictions and moves by the government to shut down social media networks have limited the ability of journalists to cover the ongoing unrest, which Iranian state television said has killed 12 people

Iran has seen its largest anti-government protests since the disputed presidential election in 2009, with thousands taking to the streets in several cities in recent days.

Travel restrictions and moves by the government to shut down social media networks have limited the ability of journalists to cover the ongoing unrest, which Iranian state television says has killed 12 people. Here’s what we know so far:


The demonstrations began Thursday in Mashhad, Iran’s second-largest city and the home of a famous Shiite shrine. The city is a conservative bastion and a stronghold of Ebrahim Raisi, a cleric who unsuccessfully challenged President Hassan Rouhani in last year’s election. Analysts suggest conservatives began the protests there as a means to pressure Rouhani, a relatively moderate cleric within Iran’s theocratic government. The protests then rapidly spread throughout the rest of the country of 80 million people.


Demonstrators initially focused on Iran’s flagging economy. Despite now being able to sell oil on the international market after the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran faces rising inflation and high unemployment. A recent increase in egg and poultry prices by as much as 40 percent, which a government spokesman has blamed on a cull over avian flu fears, appears to have sparked the protests. Protesters have chanted against Rouhani as well as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Some have criticized Iran’s military support of Syrian President Bashar Assad, while others have praised the U.S.-backed shah, who fled into exile just before the 1979 Islamic Revolution and died of cancer the following year.


So far, no central leadership has emerged. That’s in contrast to the 2009 Green Movement demonstrations, which protested hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election amid widespread allegations of voter fraud. Those protests, Iran’s biggest since 1979, prompted a crackdown by Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard and its affiliates that saw thousands detained, dozens killed and others tortured. Its leaders remain under house arrest years later. While leaderless, these new protests have been fanned in part by an exiled journalist named Roohallah Zam using a mobile phone messaging app called Telegram .


Iran says it temporarily shut down access to both Telegram and the photo-sharing app Instagram to “maintain peace,” limiting protesters’ ability to share images and publicize rallies. Facebook and Twitter are already banned. Uniformed and plainclothes police are in the streets, as are motorcycle-riding members of the Basij, a volunteer force under the Revolutionary Guard that helped carry out the 2009 crackdown. Rouhani himself has said Iran allows protests, and authorities often tolerate smaller, limited demonstrations and labor strikes. But Rouhani and other officials have warned that the government won’t hesitate to crack down on those it considers lawbreakers.


At least 12 people have been reported killed so far. Iranian state television said Monday that security forces repelled “armed protesters” who tried to take over police stations and military bases, without elaborating. Pictures published by semi-official Iranian news agencies have shown water cannons being used on protesters in Tehran, as well as damage done by demonstrators to public property. Several hundred people reportedly have been arrested, though police say they’ve released many. Some videos circulated online show protesters welcoming police officers and demonstrating peacefully.


U.S. President Donald Trump has tweeted several times in support of the protests. The State Department has accused Iran’s leaders of turning “a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos.” Rouhani has dismissed Trump’s criticisms, while many Iranians remain angry with the American president over his travel bans barring them from getting U.S. visas, as well as his refusal to re-certify the nuclear deal.


Iran describes itself as an Islamic Republic. Elected representatives pass laws and govern on behalf of their constituencies. However, the supreme leader has the final say on all state matters. The Guardian Council, a 12-member panel half selected by the supreme leader and half nominated by the judiciary and approved by parliament, must approve all laws. The council also approves all presidential and parliamentary candidates, barring anyone who challenges the political system itself or advocates dramatic reform. Security forces answering only to the supreme leader, like the Revolutionary Guard, routinely arrest dual nationals and foreigners, using them as pawns in international negotiations.


Demonstrators have called for more protests in the days ahead. While Rouhani has said the government allows demonstrations, all so far have been held without police permission, which is illegal. Ultimately, the supreme leader will decide how to respond. As Cliff Kupchan at the Eurasia Group wrote in an analysis Sunday: “When it comes to regime survival, Khamenei calls the shots. And he’s got a lot of loyal and ruthless troops at his disposal.” ... 6b16f6e237

Re: Iran: women protesting hijab 1979 and recent protests

PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:53 pm
Author: Anthea
Iran unrest: 'Ten dead' in further protests overnight

Ten people have been killed overnight in anti-government protests sweeping Iran, according to state TV.

"In the events of last night, unfortunately a total of about 10 people were killed in several cities," it said. At least 12 people have now died since protests began on Thursday.

On Monday, President Hassan Rouhani said the protests and criticism were an opportunity, not a threat.

He said the country should work together to fix its economic problems.

He said: "Our nation will deal with this minority who chant slogans against the law and people's wishes, and insult the sanctities and values of the revolution."

He previously said that citizens were free to protest, but not violently.

Nevertheless, protests continued overnight. Police used tear gas and water cannon to quell a rally in Tehran's Engheleb Square and demonstrations were reported in Kermanshah and Khorramabad in the west, Shahinshahr in the north west and the northern city of Zanjan.

The demonstrations, which erupted on Thursday in Iran's second city of Mashhad, are the biggest show of dissent seen since the huge rallies of the Green Movement were brutally suppressed in 2009.

Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli-Larijani called for a crackdown on "rioters" and "vandals" on Monday, according to state television.

"Some individuals are exploiting the situation. This is wrong," he said.

State TV said armed protesters had tried to take over some police stations and military bases, but faced serious resistance from security forces.

How have authorities responded to protests?

Mr Rouhani has acknowledged popular grievances, though he warned that the government would show "no tolerance for those who damage public properties, violate public order and create unrest in the society".

And Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has warned anti-government protesters they will face the nation's "iron fist" if political unrest continues.

The IRGC is a powerful force with ties to the country's supreme leader, and is dedicated to preserving the country's Islamic system. Correspondents say it would be a significant escalation were they to become officially involved in policing the protests.

Up to 400 people are reported to have been arrested in recent days, including 200 in Tehran on Saturday night.

And authorities continue to sporadically suspend social media websites they fear will be used to organise protests, including Telegram and Instagram.

State media have now begun broadcasting some footage on the protests, though focuses on young men attacking banks and vehicles or burning the Iranian flag, reported AFP news agency.

On Sunday police used water cannon to disperse protesters at a major intersection, as captured in a video obtained by BBC Persian.

Where will the protests lead?

Analysis by Kasra Naji, BBC Persian

There is widespread and seething discontent in Iran where repression is pervasive and economic hardship is getting worse - one BBC Persian investigation has found that on average Iranians have become 15% poorer in the past 10 years.

Protests have remained confined to relatively small pockets of mostly young male demonstrators who are demanding the overthrow of the clerical regime.

They have spread to small towns throughout the country and have the potential to grow in size.

But there is no obvious leadership. Opposition figures have long been silenced or sent into exile.

Some protesters have been calling for the return of the monarchy and the former shah's son, Reza Pahlavi, who lives in exile in the United States, has issued a statement supporting the demonstrations. But there are signs that he is as much in the dark about where these protests are going as anyone else.

BBC Persian, which broadcasts on TV, on radio and online from London, is banned in Iran - where staff and their families routinely face harassment and questioning from the authorities.

What about Mr Rouhani's war of words with Trump?

Mr Rouhani described the US president as an "enemy of the Iranian nation from the top of his head to his very toes" after Mr Trump said Iranians were "finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism".

And late on 31 December, Mr Trump tweeted more criticism of events in Iran.

What happened in 2009?

Mass demonstrations - referred to as the Green Movement - were held by millions of opposition supporters against the disputed election victory of incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

At least 30 people were killed and thousands arrested in the wave of protests, which drew the largest crowds in Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Re: Iran: women protesting hijab 1979 and recent protests

PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:34 pm
Author: Anthea
Iran Protests, Is It Different This Time?
By Hooman Askary

Iran protests continue to expand and intensify for the fifth consecutive day.

According to figures released by officials at least 15 people have been killed during the unrest that started in Mashhad, initially as a demonstration against massive corruption and grinding poverty. Protestors say the Islamic Republic has failed on the economic front.

For the first time since the victory of the revolution in 1979, the protests have spread all around the country which is perhaps why it is more difficult for the regime to control or suppress the demonstrations as it brutally did in 2009, in what was dubbed as

"The Green Movement".

Experts say that while the 2009 protests were mainly focused in capital city Tehran and a few other large cities, this time it has started and fast spreading in provinces and even remote towns.

Some social media users have mocked the Islamic Republic officials for blaming foreign governments for the unrest, saying that lots of Iranians even do not know in which province some of these towns are.

One other factor that makes the ongoing protests unique is the emergence of slogans that were previously unfathomable by many. "Iran is in disarray without the Shah", "Reza Shah, bless your soul", "Come back Crown Prince", the latter a direct reference to Prince Reza Pahlavi, the exiled son of the late Shah who has been living most of his life in the United States.

Symbols of the Islamic Republic are also being targeted by the demonstrators.

Several videos are making the rounds on social media showing angry people in the streets tearing down posters of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei :ymapplause:

In at least one other video protesters tear down a poster of IRGC Quds Force commander, General Qasem Soleymani. Tehran has been promoting Mr. Soleymani as something of a national hero who - according to Iranian officials - saved the country from falling into the hands of the "Takfiri terrorists" including the Islamic State (ISIS).

In previous episodes of post-revolutionary protests in Iran, it was not so common for demonstrators to chant slogans against the Supreme Leader. During the 2009 unrest people were chanting "Death to the dictator", which was an indirect reference to Khamenei.

But during the past five days, videos show people openly chanting "Death to Khamenei" or "People are begging, the leader is acting like God" or "Seyyed Ali [Khamenei] don't fret, but it's time for you to leave".

President Hassan Rouhani warned on Monday that these protesters are going to be swept by "the nation".

It has not been long since 2009, and many still remember when former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called protestors "dirt and dust" which led to a strong backlash against him and the regime. He later apologised for his remarks. If protests continue in the coming days, Hassan Rouhani, might not find the chance to follow suit. ... 49932.html

Re: Iran: women protesting hijab 1979 and recent protests

PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:47 pm
Author: Anthea
Why did protests erupt in Iran?
Ahmad Sadri

The Islamic Republic of Iran is the platypus of humanity's political evolution.

Episodic Iranian unrest, from the focused, reformist uprising of 2009 (led by middle-class protesters of Tehran) to the current, wildly rejectionist riots (spearheaded by the underclass and the unemployed in the poor neighborhoods of provincial towns) cannot be understood in isolation from that melange of procedural democracy and obscurantist theocracy that was crammed into the constitution of revolutionary Iran, four decades ago.

Deep within Iran's authoritarian system there is a tiny democratic heart, complete with elective, presidential and parliamentary chambers, desperately beating against an unyielding, theocratic exoskeleton. That palpitating democratic heart has prolonged the life of the system - despite massive mismanagement of the domestic and international affairs by the revolutionary elites.

But it has failed to soften the authoritarian carapace. The reform movement has failed in its mission because the constitution grants three quarters of the political power to the office of the "Supreme Leader": an unelected, permanent appointment whereby a "religious jurist" gains enormous powers, including command of the armed forces and foreign policy, veto power over presidential cabinets and parliamentary initiatives, and the world's most formidable Pretorian Guard (IRGC), with military, paramilitary, intelligence, judicial and extrajudicial powers to enforce the will of its master.

The democratically-elected president and parliament (let alone the media and ordinary citizens) have no prayer of checking the powers of the Supreme Leader. As a result, the system has remained opaque, blind to its own flaws, resistant to growth and incapable of adaptation to its evolving internal and external environments.

Unlike the present riots, the 2009 movement had a well-defined political vision and a seasoned leadership which was quickly arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned.

These uprisings express the frustration of the people with that obdurate rigidity.

It took a decade after the revolution of 1978 for the democracy movement to gain self-consciousness, in the mind of a segment of the cadre elite of the revolution, at the disappointing end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1988.

It took another decade for this sentiment to gestate before it took political shape in the wave that carried President Mohammed Khatami to power in 1997. The empowered reformists aimed to strengthen the democratic component of the Republic while softening its theocratic and authoritarian casing.

They failed in this mission because the ruling theocrats would not brook the slightest diminishment of their power. They fought Khatami tooth and nail and sabotaged his plans. They created, in the words of the first reformist president, a "crisis every nine days" to break him.

The failure of the reformers resulted in a popular malaise. As hopes of reforming the Islamic Republic were frustrated, many stayed away from the polls in 2005 elections. This allowed the rise of a neo-conservative counter elite headed by the firebrand, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The ensuing international isolation and precipitous devaluation of the currency sobered the people enough to send them back to the polls in 2009, to depose the dangerous lunatic who had climbed to the office of presidency. When Ahmadinejad was declared the winner, the perception of a stolen election led to immense street demonstrations that came to be known as the Green Uprising.

Unlike the present riots, the 2009 movement had a well-defined political vision and a seasoned leadership which was quickly arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned. Street demonstrations were brutally suppressed.

Ahmadinejad's second term was even more disastrous than his first. The near economic collapse under the UN-imposed sanctions, and rampant profiteering due to the ubiquitous black market in everything from cancer drugs to selling oil in international markets, persuaded people to once again return to the polls.

In the 2013 elections, people elected Hassan Rouhani, a moderate cleric who promised international normalisation and economic prosperity, but not hardcore reform or liberalisation. The reformers extended an olive branch to the autocratic right-wing establishment to let the bygones of 2009 be bygones.

But the Supreme Leader arrogantly rejected the gesture. Far from being ashamed of what they had done, the ruling theocrats had decided to transform the suppression of the Green Uprising into a foundational myth for their neo-fundamentalist cult. Not even the emerging regional threats by a new Arab/Israeli alliance and the election of a blatantly anti-Iran president in the United States persuaded the right wing to put aside their "anti-reformist" sentiments.

In his first term, Rouhani managed to check the hyperinflation and the runaway unemployment while concluding a historic agreement with Iran's iconic adversary, the US. But his second term did not start auspiciously.

First, Rouhani appeared to buckle under right-wing pressures when he appointed a relatively conservative cabinet: A disappointing pattern people had already seen in President Khatami's second term. To make matters worse, the Americans under Trump (or, as he is known in Iran, the American Ahmadinejad) started to renege on the promises of the nuclear deal. Hopes for a quick recovery had now been dashed.

Further fuel was added to the volatile mix as a series of mammoth corruption schemes came to the light. Then, under pressure from the right wing, President Rouhani decided to justify raising taxes on gasoline by revealing the massive, entitlement budget for religious foundations that was imposed on him by powers that be. It is hard to overestimate the anger this profligacy inspired in people.

The straw that broke the proverbial camel's back was a mere rise in the price of eggs. The right-wing powerful duo of the city of Mashad, Ebrahim Raisi (the embittered rival of Rouhani in the recent elections) and his famously simple-minded father-in-law, Ahmad Alamolhoda, struck the first match by staging a small anti-Rouhani demonstration, blaming the high price of consumer goods on the Rouhani government.

This was the proximate cause of the current unrest, which must be seen only as a trigger, rather than its driving force. The sudden spread of these riots has led to the speculation that they are instigated by extraterritorial enemies such as the Saudi-Israeli-US alliance. But, as there is nothing new about that sort of anti-regime agitation, it is unlikely that they were causally significant.

As long as Iran does not radically modify its institution of the office of the Supreme Leader, and as long as the democratic element of that system remains marginalised and powerless to express the wishes of the people and reduce tensions through legal representation, riots and uprisings will be an immanent and permanent feature of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Maybe, under a benevolent despot, all these powers would be put to effective use. But Iran and its neighbours on all sides are no exception to British historian Lord Acton's rule: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." ... 14891.html

Re: Iran: women protesting hijab 1979 and recent protests

PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:59 pm
Author: Anthea
ranian Revolution of 1978–79 - Causes - Effects, - Facts
Written By: Janet Afary

Iranian Revolution of 1978–79, also called Islamic Revolution, Persian Enqelāb-e Eslāmī, a mthen popular uprising in Iran in 1978–79 that resulted in the toppling of the monarchy on April 1, 1979, and led to the establishment of an unpopular Islamic republic.

Iran: The Iranian Revolution, 1978–79

Outwardly, with a swiftly expanding economy and a rapidly modernizing infrastructure, everything was going well in Iran. But in little more than a generation, Iran had changed from a traditional, conservative, and rural society to one that was industrial, modern, and urban.…

Prelude to revolution

Mounting social discontent in the 1970s in Iran, which culminated in revolution at the end of the decade, had several crucial dimensions. Although petroleum revenues continued to be a major source of income for Iran in the 1970s, world monetary instability and fluctuations in Western oil consumption seriously threatened the country’s economy, which had been rapidly expanding since the early 1950s and was still directed in large part toward high-cost projects and programs. A decade of extraordinary economic growth, heavy government spending, and a boom in oil prices led to high rates of inflation and the stagnation of Iranians’ buying power and standard of living.

In addition to mounting economic difficulties, sociopolitical repression by the regime of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi likewise increased in the 1970s. Outlets for political participation were minimal, and opposition parties such as the National Front (a loose coalition of nationalists, clerics, and noncommunist left-wing parties) and the pro-Soviet Tūdeh (“Masses”) Party were marginalized or outlawed. Social and political protest was often met with censorship, surveillance, or harassment, and illegal detention and torture were common.

Many argued that since Iran’s brief experiment with parliamentary democracy and communist politics had failed, the country had to go back to its indigenous culture. The 1953 coup, backed by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), against Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, an outspoken advocate of nationalism who almost succeeded in deposing the shah, particularly incensed Iran’s intellectuals. For the first time in more than half a century, the secular intellectuals—many of whom were fascinated by the populist appeal of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a former professor of philosophy in Qom who had been exiled in 1964 after speaking out harshly against the shah’s recent reform program—abandoned their aim of reducing the authority and power of the Shīʿite ulama (religious scholars) and argued that, with the help of the ulama, the shah could be overthrown.

In this environment, members of the National Front, the Tūdeh Party, and their various splinter groups now joined the ulama in a broad opposition to the shah’s regime. Khomeini continued to preach in exile about the evils of the Pahlavi regime, accusing the shah of irreligion and subservience to foreign powers. Thousands of tapes and print copies of Khomeini’s speeches were smuggled back into Iran during the 1970s as an increasing number of unemployed and working-poor Iranians—mostly new immigrants from the countryside, who were disenchanted by the cultural vacuum of modern urban Iran—turned to the ulama for guidance. The shah’s dependence on the United States, his close ties with Israel—then engaged in extended hostilities with the overwhelmingly Muslim Arab states—and his regime’s ill-considered economic policies served to fuel the potency of dissident rhetoric with the masses.

Outwardly, with a swiftly expanding economy and a rapidly modernizing infrastructure, everything was going well in Iran. But in little more than a generation, Iran had changed from a traditional, conservative, and rural society to one that was industrial, modern, and urban. The sense that in both agriculture and industry too much had been attempted too soon and that the government, either through corruption or incompetence, had failed to deliver all that was promised was manifested in demonstrations against the regime in 1978.


In January 1978, incensed by what they considered to be slanderous remarks made against Khomeini in Eṭṭelāʿāt, a Tehrān newspaper, thousands of young madrassa (religious school) students took to the streets. They were followed by thousands more Iranian youth—mostly unemployed recent immigrants from the countryside—who began protesting the regime’s excesses. The shah, weakened by cancer and stunned by the sudden outpouring of hostility against him, vacillated between concession and repression, assuming the protests to be part of an international conspiracy against him.

Many people were killed by government forces in anti-regime protests, serving only to fuel the violence in a Shīʿite country where martyrdom played a fundamental role in religious expression. Fatalities were followed by demonstrations to commemorate the customary 40-day milestone of mourning in Shīʿite tradition, and further casualties occurred at those protests, mortality and protest propelling one another forward. Thus, in spite of all government efforts, a cycle of violence began in which each death fueled further protest, and all protest—from the secular left and religious right—was subsumed under the cloak of Shīʿite Islam and crowned by the revolutionary rallying cry Allāhu akbar (“God is great”), which could be heard at protests and which issued from the rooftops in the evenings.

During his exile, Khomeini coordinated this upsurge of opposition—first from Iraq and after 1978 from France—demanding the shah’s abdication. In January 1979, in what was officially described as a “vacation,” the shah and his family fled Iran. The Regency Council established to run the country during the shah’s absence proved unable to function, and Prime Minister Shahpur Bakhtiar, hastily appointed by the shah before his departure, was incapable of effecting compromise with either his former National Front colleagues or Khomeini. Crowds in excess of one million demonstrated in Tehrān, proving the wide appeal of Khomeini, who arrived in Iran amid wild rejoicing on February 1. Ten days later Bakhtiar went into hiding, eventually to find exile in France.


On April 1, following overwhelming support in a national referendum, Khomeini declared Iran an Islamic republic. Elements within the clergy promptly moved to exclude their former left-wing, nationalist, and intellectual allies from any positions of power in the new regime, and a return to conservative social values was enforced. The Family Protection Act (1967; significantly amended in 1975), which provided further guarantees and rights to women in marriage, was declared void, and mosque-based revolutionary bands known as komītehs (Persian: “committees”) patrolled the streets enforcing Islamic codes of dress and behaviour and dispatching impromptu justice to perceived enemies of the revolution.

Throughout most of 1979 the Revolutionary Guards—then an informal religious militia formed by Khomeini to forestall another CIA-backed coup as in the days of Mosaddeq—engaged in similar activity, aimed at intimidating and repressing political groups not under control of the ruling Revolutionary Council and its sister Islamic Republican Party, both clerical organizations loyal to Khomeini. The violence and brutality often exceeded that which had taken place under the shah.

The militias and the clerics they supported made every effort to suppress Western cultural influence, and, facing persecution and violence, many of the Western-educated elite fled the country. This anti-Western sentiment eventually manifested itself in the November 1979 seizure of 66 hostages at the U.S. embassy by a group of Iranian protesters demanding the extradition of the shah, who at that time was undergoing medical treatment in the United States (see Iran hostage crisis).

Through the embassy takeover, Khomeini’s supporters could claim to be as “anti-imperialist” as the political left. This ultimately gave them the ability to suppress most of the regime’s left-wing and moderate opponents. The Assembly of Experts (Majles-e Khobregān), overwhelmingly dominated by clergy, ratified a new constitution the following month.

The new constitution created a religious government based on Khomeini’s vision of velāyat-e faqīh (Persian: “governance of the jurist”) and gave sweeping powers to the rahbar, or leader; the first rahbar was Khomeini himself. Moderates, such as provisional Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan and the republic’s first president, Abolhasan Bani-Sadr, who opposed holding the hostages, were steadily forced from power by conservatives within the government who questioned their revolutionary zeal. ... -1978-1979

Re: Iran: women protesting hijab 1979 and recent protests

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:26 pm
Author: Anthea
Enemies lurking for any opportunity to hit Iranian nation

Leader of the Islamic Revolution said that the enemies are impatiently waiting for any possible opportunity to hurt Iranian people.

Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, during a weekly meeting with families of martyrs on Tuesday, referred to recent riots across Iran, saying "the enemies with all sorts of tools, including money and weapons, allied to hurt the Islamic establishment."

"The dignity, security and progress of the Iranian people are due to the sacrifice of the martyrs," he noted, adding "what prevents the enemy's hostility towards Iranian nation is the spirit of courage, sacrifice and faith."

Ayatollah Khamenei asserted that he will talk with Iranian nation on the recent incidents across the country, at the right time.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution, referring to the important role of the spirit of courage and sacrifice in preventing the hostility of enemies, called the martyrs a complete example of this kind of spirit, adding "Iranian nation is indebted forever to the martyrs who left their homes and families, to breast the enemies and protect Iran's soil."

Pointing to the regretful situation of some countries in West Asia and North Africa, Ayatollah Khamenei said "during the time of Imposed War, if the enemy could be able to enter inside our country, it would not have any mercy on anything and the situation was much worse than today's situation in Libya and Syria."

He praised the families of the martyrs, underlining that "what martyrs' parents did during the war was no less valuable than their children's courage and sacrifice; Iran is greatly indebted to the families of martyrs." ... ian-nation

Re: Iran: women protesting hijab 1979 and recent protests

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:36 pm
Author: Anthea
Khamenei Reacts to Protests, Blames Foreign 'Enemies'

Please click image to enlarge
Look at all the ladies treated as rubbish in black sacks X(

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has accused the country's “enemies” of fomenting violent antigovernment demonstrations that have killed at least 22 people, including a police officer, in the biggest challenge to authorities in almost a decade.

In his first comments since the outbreak of protests on December 28, Khamenei accused the "enemies of Iran" of meddling in the country's affairs through their "money, weapons, politics, and intelligence services."

"The enemy is always looking for an opportunity & any crevice to infiltrate and strike the Iranian nation," he was quoted as saying in a post on his official website on January 2.

The comments come as international pressure builds in step with the rising death toll from the upheaval, putting further pressure on Iran’s leadership, which appears to have been caught off guard by the strength and breadth of the protests.

Video posted on social media showed demonstrators attacking a police station in the central town of Qahderijan. State TV reported on January 2 that six of the nine killed overnight were attempting to steal weapons during the attack on the town’s police station in Iran's central Isfahan Province, about 350 kilometers south of Tehran.

Tasnim reported the death of a security officer, who the semiofficial news agency said was killed by an armed demonstrator in the central city of Najafabad. If confirmed, it would be the first reported fatality among security forces during the widespread unrest.

Iran's economy has been on the upswing, largely due to a growing oil sector boosted by a nuclear deal with the West, but most other areas have been stagnating, with inflation and unemployment, especially among younger Iranians, on the rise.

Demonstrations were reportedly taking place in dozens of towns and cities throughout Iran, including several places in the capital, Tehran, where the deputy governor, Ali Asgar Naserbakht, said 450 people have been arrested so far.

Other cities where demonstrations have taken place include Sanandaj, Ilam, Khoramdareh, Kermanshah, Izeh, Ahvaz, Shahin Shahr, and Tuyserkan, where at least two protesters were reported killed.

Numerous videos showed some crowds of people chanting "Death to the dictator!" walking through the streets of Tehran.

Video posted by RFE/RL's Radio Farda showed security forces using water cannons to disperse protesters in Tehran, on the central Ferdowsi Square.

Other social-media videos from different Iranian cities showed clashes with security forces and a police station set alight. Crowds of marching protesters were shown shouting slogans against mullahs and other religious figures in the country.

Some demonstrators were seen tearing down huge street banners of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khomeini, who has ruled Iran since 1989.

The violence overnight brings the unofficial total to at least 22 dead since the demonstrations -- which started out as rallies against high inflation for basic food products and other economic woes -- began in Iran's second-largest city, Mashhad.

President Hassan Rohani has called for unity in the country and said the unrest is an opportunity to address problems plaguing Iran, especially unemployment.

A spokesman for the hard-line Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said on January 1 that police and internal security forces "fully control the situation in Tehran and other cities of Iran where street protests took place" and the IRGC personnel had not been involved.

Likewise, the Basij militia -- which along with the IRGC led the crackdown against the 2009 protests that left dozens dead -- has thus far appeared to stay away from the demonstrations.

Unemployment in Iran is about 12 percent but among the youth it reached 28.8 percent in 2017.

With younger Iranians better educated than in previous generations, many have grown frustrated by the political and economic constraints that are keeping them from achieving the improved lifestyle they see elsewhere in the world as they interact with peers on social media.

Despite Rohani's statements, there have been signs authorities are ready to crack down harder on those taking to the streets.

The Intelligence Ministry has said "rioters and instigators" had been identified "and will be dealt with seriously soon," and the head of Tehran's Revolutionary Court, Mousa Ghazanfarabadi, was quoted on January 2 by Tasnim as saying that one of the charges protesters face can be "Moharebeh," or waging war against God, which carries the death penalty as a sentence.

The government has also blocked popular social-media application Instagram and a widely used messaging app in Iran called Telegram.

Both applications are popular among Iranians and useful in helping set up gathering points for demonstrators who are disappointed with rising prices and Rohani’s unfulfilled promises to guarantee rights to freedom of expression and assembly.

Ali Shamkhani, Iranian Supreme National Security Council secretary, blamed the violence on social media and said some foreign countries were interfering in his country's domestic affairs.

"Hashtags and messages about the situation in Iran come from the United States, Britain, and Saudi Arabia," he said on January 1.

Britain, Germany, Sweden, and Turkey have all expressed concern over the deaths of protesters and urged the Iranian government to respect people's rights.

A spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a tweet that "we expect the right to peaceful demonstration & freedom of expression will be guaranteed" in Iran.

The harshest criticism has come from the United States, with President Donald Trump tweeting on January 1 that the upheaval shows Iran is “failing at every level” and that it was “TIME FOR CHANGE!”

“The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. They are hungry for food & for freedom. Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted,” he wrote.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on January 1 that the unrest was "Iran's internal affair," adding that any "external interference destabilizing the situation is inadmissible."

Syria blamed the United States and Israel for destabilizing the region.

"Syria is confident that Iran's leadership, government and people will be able to defeat the conspiracy," the Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on January 2.

Iran has been a main backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since conflict engulfed the country in 2011.

Rohani said on December 31 that citizens are “absolutely free” to criticize the authorities and protest, but he warned that those demonstrations should not make the public "feel concerned about their lives and security."

"Mr. Rohani says it's free for people to protest but we're scared of speaking. Even now, I'm scared of talking to you," Sarita Mohammadi, a 35-year-old teacher, told AFP on January 1.

Rohani has criticized Trump for his tweets, saying he "has forgotten that he had called Iranian people 'terrorists' a few months ago."

With reporting by Golnaz Esfandiari, Radio Farda, Reuters, AFP, AP, and dpa ... 51246.html

Re: Iran: women protesting hijab 1979 and recent protests

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:02 pm
Author: Anthea
‘UN must speak out’ on Iran protests, says US

The United States is calling for the United Nations to “speak out” on the anti-government protests rocking Iran for a sixth consecutive day.

“The freedoms that are enshrined in the United Nations Charter are under attack in Iran. Dozens have already been killed. Hundreds have been arrested,” Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN, stated on Tuesday. “If the Iranian dictatorship’s history is any guide, we can expect more outrageous abuses in the days to come.”

“The UN must speak out,” she demanded.

The United States will call for an emergency United Nations session in New York and of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, she said.

Women in Iran - half the population - have been turned into rubbish sacks and treated as rubbish without any rights or liberty - nobody has done anything to help the Iranian woman in 39 years, so why pretend to care now unless to cause further problems in an already unstable country

“We must not be silent. The people of Iran are crying out for freedom. All freedom loving people must stand with their cause. The international community made the mistake of failing to do that in 2009. We must not make that mistake again.”

Haley also responded to Iranian claims that foreign agents are behind the protests: “We all know that’s complete nonsense.”

Reza Pahlevi, the son of Reza Shah, the last monarch of Iran, blamed the West for ignoring the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom in an interview with BBC Arabic on Tuesday.

“The West missed every chance to support the Iranian people,” said Pahlevi, in a reference to 2009’s Green Movement, the last mass anti-government demonstrations in Iran.

“It is up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran's leaders will be,” former US President Barack Obama said at the time. “We respect Iranian sovereignty and want to avoid the United States being the issue inside of Iran."

The anti-government protests, which started last Thursday, have entered a sixth day, with at least 22 protestors killed and hundreds arrested. The authorities have promised a harsh crackdown on the demonstrators.

A “state of fear” has been imposed in Kurdish cities that have held regular protests, the Kurdistan Human Rights Network reported on Tuesday.

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic republic, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, blamed external forces for the protests. “The enemies have united and are using all their means, money, weapons, policies and security services to create problems for the Islamic regime," he said.

US President Donald Trump, a harsh critic of Obama’s legacy on Iran, has been a vocal supporter of the protests, saying that America is closely watching the situation as “the people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif slammed Trump’s stance, tweeting on Tuesday, “Iran’s security and stability depend on its own people, who – unlike the peoples of Trumps regional ‘bffs’ – have the right to vote and to protests. These hard-earned rights will be protected, and infiltrators will not be allowed to sabotage them through violence and destruction.”

Pahlevi asked the West to do more than just talk about freedom.

“What unites Iranians is their hope to gain the right to decide their destiny. Iranians have lost hope in the regime resolving their issues and they want to do something about their future,” he said.

He emphasized the importance of social media, saying that it has enabled people to communicate directly with each other around the world.

Iranian authorities blocked social media platforms like Telegram and Instragram as protests continued. Telephone and internet services have also reportedly been disrupted in the country.

The United States is considering sanctions against Iran, Andrew Peek, deputy assistant secretary of state for Iraq and Iran, said on Monday in an interview with VOA.

“We want to make it clear now through visible and vocal support of the Iranian people, that we will not let them suffer anonymously, that when they want to exercise their basic human rights we will support them,” he said.

France has expressed concern over the “number of victims and arrests” in the protests. The Foreign Ministry stressed “the right to protest freely is a fundamental right,” in a statement on Tuesday.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in a phone call on Tuesday that “encouraging violence” is different from expressing “legitimate freedom” or expressing criticism, adding that no single country will make “compromises over the security of its citizens.”

Rouhani criticized the presence of a “terrorist group” in Paris that has encouraged the people of Iran to engage in “violence,” Iranian state media reported. He called on France to carry out its “legal duty” against the group, the Iranian opposition party Mujahadeen-e-Khalq (MEK).

According to the Iranian state agency, Macron replied that “we never support terrorist groups and do not allow any action against other countries from France.”

Turkey and Russia have both warned against interference in Iranian affairs.

“Interference which is destabilizing is unacceptable,” said a Russia Foreign Ministry Statement.

Re: Iran: women protesting hijab 1979 and recent protests

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:14 am
Author: Anthea
Protests have engulfed several cities in Iran

The clerics are struggling to control widespread unrest

INCREDIBLY, religious hardliners may have started the protests that have spread across Iran. Preachers in Mashhad, Iran’s second city and a stronghold of the clerical regime, called their followers onto the streets on December 28th to protest against rising prices, most recently of eggs. Many of those who turned out supported Ebrahim Raisi, a conservative cleric, in the presidential election last May. “Death to Rouhani,” they chanted, referring to President Hassan Rouhani, whose liberal economic policies they oppose and whose budget in December called for sweeping subsidy cuts.

But their cries have been drowned out by a far broader swathe of Iranian malcontents. Even as the hardliners retreated, the protests spread to more than 20 cities, where Iranians of all stripes voiced pent-up anger over a lack of economic and political progress. The protests have also spread to Tehran, the capital, where hundreds of people have been arrested. After six days the tone of the rallies is changing. Many now call for the downfall of the ruling clerics and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the regime’s praetorian guard, who also dominate much of the economy.

The demonstrations have not been on the same scale as those by the Green Movement, which shook Iran’s clerical establishment in 2009. Hundreds of thousands of protesters came out then, mostly in Tehran, to challenge a disputed presidential election. The latest rallies have attracted only thousands, mostly in towns and small cities. At their root are broad socioeconomic grievances. Unlike in 2009, there is no obvious leadership. That may be why the authorities initially responded with a relatively soft touch. They have deployed the police, not the IRGC. Mr Rouhani has even sanctioned peaceful protest.

Anger, for various reasons, has been brewing for months. Residents of the predominantly Kurdish north-west are upset with the government’s nonchalant response to a devastating earthquake in November. Thousands are still spending the winter in temporary shelters. Tehran has faced protests by customers of informal financial institutions, many associated with the IRGC, who lost their life savings when the institutions went bust. Factory workers and pensioners say they have not been paid for months. Mr Rouhani’s government trumpets falling inflation and economic growth, but youth unemployment has risen to 27%, the prices of some basic goods have soared and inequality is growing.

“We don’t want an Islamic republic,” chant the protesters. Also, “Death to the Revolutionary Guards” and “People are paupers while the mullahs live like gods.” But in contrast to 2009 they are not lining up with reformists against hardliners—they are wishing a plague on both their houses and bashing all pillars of the regime with rarely voiced venom. “No to conservatives and reformers alike,” is another popular slogan. Some have wondered aloud why the regime is spending the country’s wealth to support militant groups in Yemen, Lebanon and Palestine, and a blood-soaked dictator in Syria. “Leave Syria, remember us,” is another oft-heard chant.

Iran’s rulers still hope they can assuage the anger. “We urge senior authorities of the Islamic Republic to revise the country’s macro policies and hear people’s voices,” said the Assembly of Qom Seminary’s Teachers and Scholars, a powerful caucus of Shia clerics whose ranks fill the theocratic regime.

But Mr Rouhani’s promise to listen has so far failed to stem the protests, and the authorities are increasingly resorting to force. The government has shut down popular social-media apps, such as Telegram, which has been used to organise rallies. The riot police in Tehran have driven their water cannon through the streets to deter protesters. In smaller cities and towns, less-experienced authorities have opened fire. Five people were killed in Qahderijan and six in Tuyserkan—western towns of around 50,000 people. Over 20 people have been killed across the country. As in the Arab spring of 2011, the periphery is driving the unrest and the killing is adding to the discontent. Protesters have since attacked police stations and toppled portraits of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. If the police fail to contain the unrest, warns an IRGC spokesman, the protesters will face an “iron fist”. ... e-engulfed

Re: Iran: 1979 hijab protests and updates on recent protests

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:54 am
Author: Anthea
The Latest: Hezbollah chief downplays Iran protests

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The Latest on protests in Iran (all times local):

10:45 p.m.

The leader of Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah group says President Donald Trump’s “hopes” that the protests in Iran will snowball and lead to regime change or chaos will be dashed along with the hopes of the Israelis and Saudis.

In his first comments since protests in Iran broke out, Hassan Nasrallah said protesters with legitimate grievances have been exploited by political factions who attached political slogans to their protests.

Nasrallah, whose group is funded extensively by Iran, spoke in a TV interview with the Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen station. He said the protests across Iranian cities are being dealt with “calmly and wisely” by Iranian authorities.

He said the protests are nothing like the massive protests of 2009 in terms of scope and demands, adding that “there is nothing to worry about.”

9:45 p.m.

Iranian state TV says three security forces have been killed during clashes with militants near the border with Iraq.

The state TV website reported Wednesday that the clashes took place near the Kurdish town of Piranshahr, some 730 kilometers (450 miles) northwest of the capital, Tehran.

The report says “armed counter-revolutionary bandits” are at large and Iranian forces are tracking them.

It did not elaborate on the affiliation of the militants. Kurdish separatists and Islamic extremists have carried out past attacks near the borders with Iraq and Turkey.

9:30 p.m.

U.N. officials are calling on Iran to respect protesters’ rights and release any who have been arbitrarily arrested while demonstrating peacefully.

A spokesman said Wednesday that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is urging respect for rights. He’s also stressing that demonstrations should be peaceful.

Meanwhile, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein pressed Iran to release anyone arbitrarily detained or penalized for peacefully expressing views.

Hussein also is calling on Iranian authorities to investigate all deaths and serious injuries during the protests that have roiled Iran over the last week.

At least 21 people have been killed and hundreds have been arrested amid anti-government protests fueled by economic grievances. Iranian state media reported Wednesday that tens of thousands of people took part in pro-government counter-demonstrations.

8 p.m.

Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency says a European citizen has been detained on espionage allegations after leading rioters during anti-government protests.

The Wednesday report quotes Hamid Reza Abolhasani, head of the justice department in the western city of Boroujerd, as saying the suspect was trained by European spy agencies, without elaborating.

There have been no reports of protests in Boroujerd in recent days.

Anti-government protests have erupted in several towns and cities in Iran over the past week. Clashes have broken out at some demonstrations, and at least 21 people have been killed. Hundreds have been arrested.

Iranian officials have long accused the United States, Israel and Britain of plotting to overthrow the government.

6:30 p.m.

Iranian state media are airing footage of pro-government demonstrations in cities across the country after a week of protests and unrest over the country’s poor economy.

The English-language broadcaster Press TV aired the rallies live on Wednesday, saying they were to “protest the violence that has taken place over the last few nights in cities.”

While the rallies showed support among Iran’s 80 million people for its clerically overseen government, the unrest which has swept through several cities appeared to be reaching smaller towns in the countryside, according to protesters’ online videos.

3:50 p.m.

Germany’s government says protests against the economic and political situation in Iran “deserve our respect.”

A spokeswoman for Chancellor Angela Merkel says Berlin is closely watching developments in the country, which has seen growing economic ties with Germany in recent years.

Ulrike Demmer told reporters in Berlin on Wednesday that “in the view of the German government it’s legitimate and deserves our respect when people have the courage to take to the streets with their economic and political concerns, as is currently the case in Iran.”

Demmer said Germany calls on the government in Tehran to respect freedom of assembly and speech, and to show its willingness to engage in dialogue with protesters.

She says where there is violence, the state should react proportionately and within the rule of law.

3 p.m.

Turkey’s foreign minister has been quoted as saying that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump are backing widespread protests in neighboring Iran.

Hurriyet newspaper and other media also quoted Mevlut Cavusoglu as telling a group of journalists on Wednesday that Turkey opposes foreign intervention in Iran and wants to see stability quickly restored in the country.

Cavusoglu said that “two people are supporting the protests in Iran: Netanyahu and Trump. We oppose such external interventions.”

The demonstrations are the largest seen in Iran since its disputed 2009 presidential election. At least 21 people have been killed.

Earlier, officials said the Turkish and Iranian presidents held a telephone conversation during which Iran’s Hassan Rouhani said he hoped the protests would end in a few days.

2:10 p.m.

Turkish officials say Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani told his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he hopes the protests that have hit Iran “will end in a couple of days.”

Officials in Erdogan’s office say the two had a telephone conversation on Wednesday during which Erdogan stressed the importance of stability and calm.

Erdogan also reiterated that Turkey back’s Rouhani’s statement in which he upheld Iranians’ right protests but urged them not to violate laws. Erdogan’s office said Rouhani thanked Erdogan and told him that he hoped the protests would end “in a couple of days.”

Turkey and Iran have grown closer as they work together to try and end the conflict in Syria. Rouhani met with Erdogan in Istanbul last month on the sidelines of an Islamic nations’ summit, voicing strong opposition to the U.S. administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

11 a.m.

Iranian state TVs are airing footage of pro-government demonstrations in cities across the country after a week of protests and unrest over the country’s poor economy.

The English-language broadcaster PressTV broadcast the rallies live on Wednesday, saying they were to “protest the violence that has taken place over the last few nights in cities.”

Demonstrators waved Iranians flags and signs supporting Iran’s clerically overseen government.

The rallies come after Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday blamed days of protests across the country on meddling by “enemies of Iran.” State TV reported on Tuesday that the latest clashes between protesters and security forces have killed nine more people.

The demonstrations are the largest seen in Iran since its disputed 2009 presidential election. At least 21 people have been killed. ... n-protests