Iran protests

The Middle East doesn’t seem to be quite sorted out yet. Iran has experienced the largest internal protests since 2009, and Donald Trump and Israel are taking the opportunity to try and stir things up.

Are Trump’s tweets helping or hurting?

The consensus from experts: US President Donald Trump’s tweets about the situation are not helpful.
Rather, they say, the world should show solidarity with the Iranian people by supporting freedom of expression.
That’s not something Trump has been good at supporting in the US, with his attacks on media and on sports people protesting.

Looks typically very messy and a long way from a lasting solution.


  1. David

     /  January 2, 2018

    I’m amused by Susan Rice’s twitter telling Trump to shut up. Not the slightest reflection on her own mess….

  2. David

     /  January 2, 2018

    One thing I would be careful about is predicting a future in the Middle East. There is every chance you are witnessing the Israeli-Saudi alliance coming out of the shadows.

    It’s going to be fun to watch from a suitable distance.

  3. Some sensibility in world leadership:

  4. Gezza

     /  January 2, 2018

    ‘At least 12 people have been killed in Iran, according to local news media reports, as anti-government demonstrations continued across the country for a fourth night.
    Thousands have engaged in protests since the first rallies against the high cost of living on December 28, marking the biggest show of dissent in Iran since huge rallies took place in 2009.

    State TV reported on Monday that 10 people were killed in several cities on Sunday, and showed footage of damage allegedly caused by protesters.The report did not provide further details about the deaths. Local media reports said that of those who died, six were killed in Twiserkan, in Hamedan province, and three others in Shahin Shahr, in Esfahan province. Another person was killed in Izeh, while two others died in Dorud, in western Iran, late on Saturday.

    On Monday evening, a small protest broke out in a central part of the Iranian capital, Tehran. Police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse crowds who were chanting anti-establishment slogans.

    This is better than staying silent,” Milad, a young protester told Al Jazeera. His eyes were red from tear gas and he had brought masks to give to others demonstrating.  Nearby, Aslan, a 52-year-old man who was not among the protesters but was in the area, said those rallying “need a chance to show they are not happy”. “The government should let them protest,” he told Al Jazeera.

    Some 400 people have been arrested across Iran in the protests, state news agencies have reported.

    On Sunday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said people in the country have the right to protest but warned that violence is unacceptable.

    “It should be clear to everyone that we are people of freedom. According to the constitution and citizens’ rights, people are free to express their criticism and to protest,” Rouhani said in televised remarks, his first since the rallies started. “However, we need to pay attention to the manner of that criticism and protest. It should be in such a way that it will lead to the improvement of the people and state.

    “People have the right to protest, but those demonstrations should not make the public feel concerned about their lives and security.”

    Why are there protests in Iran?
    Iranians began protesting in the second-largest city of Mashhad, railing at the ruling religious elite, whom they blame for economic hardships and alleged corruption. The rallies have since gained momentum and spread to other cities, including Tehran.
    Several videos posted on social media have shown protesters calling for the fall of Rouhani’s government.

    Angry at the high cost of living, some protesters have rallied against rising prices, unemployment and economic inequality. These demonstrators hoped that Iran’s nuclear deal in 2015 with world powers, which led to the lifting of many international sanctions, would ease their financial struggles.

    Unlike the mass protests of in 2009 that followed the disputed re-election of then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the recent demonstrations appear to be more spontaneous, decentralised and without clear figureheads. 

    “We don’t know who precisely is behind the protests, they do not have the same kind of leadership as in 2009,” said Shabani, underlining the protesters’ different grievances. “You have varied demands, and also you have varied responses from Iranian leaders,” he added.

    “Initially they were opposed to high prices, some now say ‘Death to Khameini’ and ‘Death to Rouhani’, so they are targeting different political figures, different power centres and they have different demands.”‘

    From the cellcam clips appearing on Aljazeera, these are young people protesting. Young men & women in Iran are well educated & connected with the outside world. Many seem to speak English. Dress very western, even the young women, though headscarved, wear jeans & makeup.

    They are sick of Theocratic government & their government’s squandering of the economy on the Republican Guard, support for Assad, & support for Hezbollah, among other things.

    This is not a new development. I’ve seen Aljzaz interviews with young, educated people in Tehran a year ago where they were expressing these views quite openly then. There’s probably another crackdown going to happen pretty soon, like in 2009, which was mainly young people too – but ultimately the days of this theocracy are quite likely numbered. Young people there are currently finding ways around the shutdown of social networking sites to post clips of what’s happening.

  5. 2Tru

     /  January 2, 2018

    I don’t think we are seeing another Arab spring uprising in Iran (yet), but I agree with Gezza that it’s time to dispense with the theocratic government. However the middle east doesn’t seem to do democracy well. The question then is what do you replace it with?

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  January 2, 2018

      Doomed by a fucked up religion. No way out except emigration.