Crackdown: A semi-official news agency in Iran is reporting that 450 people have been arrested over three days in Tehran. APNews
With limited information coming out of Iran it is difficult to know what is happening and what will happen next. Iranian state TV reported that 10 people were killed amid nationwide protests.
“We are following reports of multiple peaceful protests by Iranian citizens in cities across the country. Iran’s leaders have turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos. As President Trump has said, the longest-suffering victims of Iran’s leaders are Iran’s own people.
The United States strongly condemns the arrest of peaceful protesters. We urge all nations to publicly support the Iranian people and their demands for basic rights and an end to corruption.”
US President Barack Obama chose not to support the 2009 Iranian Green Protest Movement, because he hoped to reach a deal with Iran on its nuclear weapons that he signed six years later, then-ambassador to the US and current Deputy Minister Michael Oren (Kulanu) said Monday.
Obama’s failure to help Iranian protesters has been criticized since then by Israeli officials, led by Jewish Agency chairman and former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky, who has called it the biggest failure to help human rights in modern history.
Oren said Obama initially claimed he would not support the protesters because the CIA helped overthrow nationalist Iranian prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953, and that he wanted to show the Iranian people that he respected their sovereignty.
The Obama administration, Oren said, had told Israel behind the scenes that the protesters themselves did not want an American endorsement, because it could discredit them in the eyes of the Iranian people.
“In retrospect, those explanations are less credible,” Oren told The Jerusalem Post. “The Obama administration’s lack of support for the Green Revolution was part of a pattern in which it did not hold Iran accountable for any provocation. It would seem it was part of a general approach that began in Obama’s first week in office in 2009 of wanting to reach a deal with Iran at pretty much any cost.”
Among the Iranian provocations ignored by the Obama administration, Oren listed the crackdown on the protesters, the kidnapping of Americans, having their missile boats provocatively approach American destroyers, trying to assassinate him and his Saudi counterpart in downtown Washington, the failure to follow through on a red line Obama imposed on Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons, and Iranian-backed Hezbollah’s smuggling massive amounts of cocaine into the US.
Oren contrasted Obama seeing Iran as the solution to problems in the Middle East with his successor, Donald Trump, whom Oren said sees Iran as the problem. Asked if Israel deserved credit for Trump’s view, Oren said that Israel did not need to push him, because he knew the Iran deal was bad.
“If the Iranian regime brutally cracks down on its own people peacefully demonstrating, imagine what that regime would do to nations it vows to obliterate,” Oren tweeted. “Under the nuclear deal, the regime could someday produce nuclear weapons. Nix or fix it now.” JPost
Video: Netanyahu wishes the Iranian people success in their noble quest for freedom
This week, tens of thousands of Iranians took to the streets to register their anger, not at Donald Trump or the House of Saud, but at the mullahs and their security apparatus. It was economic grievances that initially ignited the protests in the northeastern city of Mashhad. But soon the uprising grew and spread to at least 18 cities nationwide. And the slogans shifted from joblessness and corruption to opposition to the Islamic Republic in toto. These included:
- “Death to [Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei!”
- “Death to Hezbollah!”
- “Not Gaza, Not Lebanon, Our Life Only for Iran!”
- “We Will Die to Get Our Iran Back!”
- “Clerics Out of Our Country!”
The outcome of the protests is hard to predict. So far, the movement is leaderless and appears to lack serious organization. The protesters face a regime that spends much of its energy and resources on ensuring its own survival and won’t hesitate to crack down viciously, as it did in 1999 and 2009. But whatever comes next, Iranians have already shattered one liberal myth: namely, that Donald Trump has revived the regime’s popularity at home. CommentaryMag