Protests in Iran

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Protests in Iran

Postby HBS Guy » 31 Dec 2017, 09:42

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42524610

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/trump-warns-iran-world-watching-rare-protests-171230073658110.html

Third day of protests. Some are asking themselves: is this another CIA attempt to install a more US–friendly regime in Teheran?

Will have a read and post more info.
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Re: Protests in Iran

Postby HBS Guy » 31 Dec 2017, 09:50

BBC link:

Meanwhile in Arak in central Iran, protesters have reportedly set fire to the local headquarters of the pro-government Basij militia.


That militia and the Revolutionary Guard are the two main military organisations protecting the religious fanatics who lead the country (the Iran Parliament is pretty much powerless, it is the religious nutters who run the country.)

In the capital Tehran, large numbers of protesters gathered at Azadi square, BBC Persian reports. A senior Revolutionary Guards' figure in Tehran said the situation in the city was under control.

Demonstrators would be met with "the nation's iron fist" if they continued, Brigadier-General Esmail Kowsari told student news agency ISNA.


As I said, the militia and the Guards.

In Kermanshah, western Iran, a demonstrator called Makan told BBC Persian that protesters were beaten up "but we couldn't tell if it was the police or the Basij militia".

"I'm not protesting against President Rouhani - and yes he needs to improve the economy - but it's the system that is rotten," he said. "It's the Islamic Republic and its institutions that need reform."

Earlier, protesters at Tehran University called for Ayatollah Khamenei to step down and there were clashes with police.

Thousands of pro-government demonstrators turned out earlier on Saturday for big rallies across the country, organised in advance to mark the eighth anniversary of the suppression of the 2009 street protests.


High unemployment etc seemed to have fuelled the protests.

Trumpy tweeting would not be helping!
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Re: Protests in Iran

Postby HBS Guy » 01 Jan 2018, 07:33

Al Jazeera link:

Eshaq Jahangiri, first vice president of Iran, said that while some protesters were rallying against high prices, others were set on derailing the government.

"All economic indications in the country are good. Yes, there is an increase in the prices of some products and the government is working on fixing causes of high prices," he said.


So, high inflation and it seems, high unemployment.
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Re: Protests in Iran

Postby HBS Guy » 01 Jan 2018, 11:15

The elected government in Teheran is in agreement with the protests and is trying to calm them down. This is not the real people in power in Iran, that is the religious nutcases, Ayatollahs and that crap.

With official unemployment at 12% and negative economic growth for a number of years until the 2016 GDP boom that saw 12% growth, without these gains properly trickling down, and a whole period of inflation which hasn't been recovered from yet (as sellers saw what price maximums were possible), what we are also seeing in Iran are real people protesting about real problems.

To be clear - the government of Iran is not blaming the legitimate protesters as 'Western agents'. They have said that the protests, correctly, are chiefly related to inflation and other economic related concerns. Rouhani himself has publicly stated that he shares precisely these concerns.


Real problems.

It isn't so easy simply to dismiss these complaints from the mainstream of protesters, and dismissively point instead to the economic encirclement the west has placed upon Iran. Iran is nevertheless still a class society with a wide and growing disparity between income groups. There are Iranian billionaires, private owners of firms and joint stock companies, who while operating within the parameters of Iranian sovereignty, also acquire their economic success on the backs of countless Iranians. Their wealth and stature in Iranian society grew significantly under Rafsanjani's tenure.

That some of these firms themselves are, or had been, the subject of sanctions, is not entirely relevant to the fact that the economic policies of some of the reformists have led to the enrichment of a few at the expense of many. And this is the discourse we are seeing and hearing from Iranians today. What therefore is being presented in Western media, is an inversion of reality.

If anything, a plurality of protesters would likely want to see a return to the policies of Ahmadinejad. Unemployment, for instance, was lowest under his administration. He also placed price controls, and subsidized other goods, in response to the spiraling inflation caused by western imposed sanctions.


So the sanctions didn’t contribute much to the economic woes. Ahmadinejad might be behind them. I never realised he was so popular within Iran, he just came across as a raving loony :bgrin

Indeed, opposition to the privatizing and anti-social policies of Rafsanjani, is where the Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran comes from. Rafsanjani, president in the late 80's through mid 90's, was of course not entirely unsuccessful in any number of projects important to Iran, including increasing ties with post-Soviet central Asian countries. But significant to the average Iranian laborer or small shop keeper, were his anti-popular measures. So the economic leftism of the Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran is a response to this, and Ahmadinejad rose to prominence in large part through this movement, which he leads.


Religion plays a part—exporting the Islamic Revolution is not popular:
The vast majority of protesters are either not particularly partisan, or they are - contrary to how the western media blitzkrieg over the last 48 hours has painted it - sympathetic to Ahmadinejad's criticisms of reformist economic and foreign policy, insofar as this is a policy which has favored an increased polarization of the distribution of wealth and opportunities in the Islamic Republic. So their chief issues are economic concerns, corruption, and distribution of wealth and human services. There is enough sophistication in Iran to understand that in terms of regional politics, everything Iran does in Syria and Iraq is an important move to counter and contain Israel. This is a 'popular militancy' that is carried on from the revolution of 1979 itself.

So to understand Rouhani, he has pursued a very similar foreign policy - in effect - as the conservatives and 'revolution exporters', as seen in the way that Iran today supports Shiite brigades in Iraq and Syria, and also has their own special forces fighting there in Syria and Iraq, as well as very close support and funding for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Again, these are contrary to what both the Green movement reformists, National Trust reformists, and run-of-the-mill moderate reformists want.

But the economic policy pursued by Rouhani - with a following proviso - has been that of the reformists. That policy has been to have warm economic relations with the west. While there are some divisions there about whether Europe or the US would be a better partner, nevertheless this has been pursued, and for that we saw the government of Rouhani enter into the anti-nuclear agreement that was supposed to be the pathway out of sanctions - one that has, with mixed results, generally worked.

And internally, that policy, again, favors the individual rights of owners and bosses against the middling and lower classes.


Will leave it there, the article starts getting a bit esoteric.

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/12/iran-protest-crisis-everything-you-need.html
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Re: Protests in Iran

Postby HBS Guy » 03 Jan 2018, 08:00

Protests still going on, death toll rising:

Iran’s supreme leader has accused his country’s enemies of inciting unrest that has left at least 21 left people dead in widening violent protests against his regime.

Riot police were out in force in several Iranian cities as the protests entered a sixth day, with footage on social media showing security forces struggling to contain the boldest challenge to Iran’s clerical leadership since unrest in 2009.

A 10-year-old boy and his father are among those killed so far.


https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2018/01/03/iran-protests-us-enemies/

NewDaily says it is an anti clerical leadership protest. That is not what was said earlier, that the protests were against rising prices. But having religious old farts running the country is never good.

More than 450 protesters have been arrested in the capital in the last three days


The protests started in regional towns, obviously now spread to Teheran.

In his first reaction to the unrest, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said: “In recent days, enemies of Iran used different tools including cash, weapons, politics and intelligence apparatus to create troubles for the Islamic Republic.”


Religious nutters obviously not wanting to admit economic problems they have done nothing about.

The head of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, Musa Ghazanfarabadi, said protesters would face harsh punishment, including the death penalty.

Deputy Interior Minister Hossein Zolfaghari said 90 per cent of the detainees are under 25-years-old, showing the younger generation’s frustration at economic hardships and lack of social freedoms.


Religious nutters very determined to hang on to power. Why don’t they worry less about stirring up trouble in Syria, Lebanon etc and concentrate on the problems Iran faces? Too mundane for religious nutters who know nothing about governance, economics and the like. Religious people are fine, as long as they don’t have power and need to persuade people to follow them. People who think more about the next life are crap at life here and now.
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