Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 29, 2017

Iran - Regime Change Agents Hijack Economic Protests

Yesterday and today saw some small protests in Iran. They are probably the first stage of a large "regime change" operation run by the U.S. and Israel with the help of Iranian terrorist group.

Earlier this month the White House and the Zionist prepared for a new assault on Iran:

A delegation led by Israel's National Security Adviser met with senior American officials in the White House earlier this month for a joint discussion on strategy to counter Iran's aggression in the Middle East, a senior U.S. official confirmed to Haaretz.

Another report about the meeting quotes Israeli officials on the result:

"[T]he U.S. and Israel see eye to eye the different developments in the region and especially those that are connected to Iran. We reached at understandings regarding the strategy and the policy needed to counter Iran. Our understandings deal with the overall strategy but also with concrete goals, way of action and the means which need to be used to get obtain those goals."

This is probably a result of the above meeting:

Hundreds took to the streets of Iran’s second largest city of Mashad on Thursday to protest over high prices, shouting slogans against the government.

Videos posted on social media showed demonstrators in Mashad in northwest Iran, one of the holiest places in Shia Islam, chanting “death to (President Hassan) Rouhani” and “death to the dictator”.

The semi-official ILNA news agency and social media reported demonstrations in other cities in Razavi Khorasan Province, including Neyshabour and Kashmar.

A video of that protest in Mashad showed some 50 people chanting slogans with more bystander just milling around.

Protests against the (neo-)liberal economic policies of the Rohani government in Iran are justified. Official unemployment in Iran is above 12% and there is hardly any economic growth. The people in the streets are not the only ones who are dissatisfied with this:

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has repeatedly criticized the government’s economic record, said on Wednesday that the nation was struggling with “high prices, inflation and recession”, and asked officials to resolve the problems with determination.

On Thursday and today the slogans of some protesters turned the call for economic relief into a call for regime change.

My hunch is that the usual suspects are behind these protests. Note that these started in several cities at the same time. This was not some spontaneous local uproar in one city but had some form of coordination.

Then there is this:

Carl Bildt‏ @carlbildt - 9:38 PM - 28 Dec 2017 from Rome, Lazio

Reports of signals of international satellite TV networks jammed in large cities of Iran. Would be sign of regime fear of today’s protests spreading.

A search in various languages finds exactly zero such "reports". Carl Bildt is a former Swedish prime minister. He was recruited in 1973 as a CIA informant and has since grown into a full blown U.S. asset. He was involved in the Ukraine coup and tried to personally profit from it.

The only response to Bildt's tweet was from one Riyad Swed‏ - @SwedRiyad who posted several videos of protests with one of them showing burning police cars.

I am not sure the video is genuine. The account has some unusual attributes (active since September 2016, 655 tweets but only 32 followers?).

Just yesterday one lecture at the CCC "hacker" congress was about the British GHCQ Secret Service and its sock-puppet accounts on Twitter and Facebook. These are used for acquiring human intelligence and for running "regime change" operations. Page 14-18 of the slides (11:20 min) cite from obtained GCHQ papers which lists Iran as one of the targets. The speaker specifically notes a GCHQ account "@2009Iranfree" which was used in generating the protests in Iran after the reelection of then President Ahmedinejad.

Today, Friday and the weekly day off in Iran, several more protest took place in other cities. A Reuters report from today:

About 300 demonstrators gathered in Kermanshah after what Fars called a “call by the anti-revolution” and shouted “Political prisoners should be freed” and “Freedom or death”, while destroying some public property. Fars did not name any opposition groups.
Footage, which could not be verified, showed protests in other cities including Sari and Rasht in the north, Qom south of Tehran, and Hamadan in the west.

Mohsen Nasj Hamadani, deputy security chief in Tehran province, said about 50 people had rallied in a Tehran square and most left after being asked by police, but a few who refused were “temporarily detained”, the ILNA news agency reported.

Some of these protests have genuine economic reasons but get hijacked by other interests:

In the central city of Isfahan, a resident said protesters joined a rally held by factory workers demanding back wages.

“The slogans quickly changed from the economy to those against (President Hassan) Rouhani and the Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei),” the resident said by telephone.
Purely political protests are rare in Iran [...] but demonstrations are often held by workers over layoffs or non-payment of salaries and people who hold deposits in non-regulated, bankrupt financial institutions.
Alamolhoda, the representative of Ayatollah Khamenei in northeastern Mashhad, said a few people had taken advantage of Thursday’s protests against rising prices to chant slogans against Iran’s role in regional conflicts.
“Some people had came to express their demands, but suddenly, in a crowd of hundreds, a small group that did not exceed 50 shouted deviant and horrendous slogans such as ‘Let go of Palestine’, ‘Not Gaza, not Lebanon, I’d give my life (only) for Iran’,” Alamolhoda said.

Two videos posted by BBC Persian and others I have seen show only small active protest groups with a dozen or so people while many more are just standing by or film the people who are chanting slogans.

Videos published by the terrorist group Mujahedin-e Khalq [MEK], 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, also show mostly small protests despite the MEK's claim of Tens of thousands of people chant “death to dictator". The MEK, or its "civilian" organization National Council of Resistance of Iran , seem to be most involved in the current protests. Its website is currently filled with the protest issue with a total of ten reports and its head figure issued a supportive statement:

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, saluted the heroic people of Kermanshah and other cities who rose up today chanting “death or freedom”, “death to Rouhani”, “death to the dictator”, and “political prisoners must be freed”, and protested against high prices, poverty and corruption.

She said, “Yesterday Mashhad, today Kermanshah, and tomorrow throughout Iran; this uprising has tolled the death knell for the overthrow of the totally corrupt dictatorship of the mullahs, and is the rise of democracy, justice and popular sovereignty.

This very early engagement of the MEK -its first report was published yesterday at 10:26 am- is extremely suspicious.

In 2012 it was reported that Israel had used the MEK terrorist organization to assassinate nuclear scientists in Iran:

On Thursday, U.S. officials speaking to NBC news claimed that Mossad agents were training members of the dissident terror group People’s Mujahedin of Iran in order assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists, adding that the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama was aware of the operation, but had no direct link to them.

The U.S. officials reportedly confirmed the link between Israel and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK), with one official saying: "All your inclinations are correct.”

In October a CATO Institute paper analyzed (and rejected) several options for U.S. handling Iran. Under Option Three: “Regime Change from Within” it noted:

In this approach, the United States would pressure the Iranian regime and simultaneously back groups that oppose it-whether the exiled extremist National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), pro-democracy Green Revolution factions, or ethnic minorities within Iran-a strategy advocates often compare to Reagan’s support for civil society groups in the Soviet Union.
[A] proponent of “coerced democratization,” the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Mark Dubowitz, urged President Trump to “go on the offensive against the Iranian regime” by “weakening the Iranian regime’s finances” through “massive economic sanctions,” while also “undermin[ing] Iran’s rulers by strengthening pro-democracy forces” inside Iran. This option appears to be gaining traction in the Trump administration’s ongoing Iran policy review and has received public support from Tillerson. CIA Director Mike Pompeo also favored such an approach during his time in Congress.

The MEK/NCRI noted that Senator Tom Cotton, who will likely replace CIA chief Pompeo when Pompeo moves to the State Department, issued a supportive statement for the protests.

The White House and the Netanyahoo regime agreed on a strategy towards Iran. Major members of the Trump administration are in favor of "regime change" by "pro-democracy forces" in Iran. A few weeks after an agreement was found, coordinated economic protests start in Iran which are soon hijacked by small groups of very active regime changers. A group of Iranian exile terrorists, well known for deadly collaboration with Israeli spies as well as for having operation cells in Iran, is highly engaged in the protest from very early on.

If this the "regime change" operation I presume, the protests will soon get bigger. When the people need money a few thousand dollars are enough to create a large crowd. Small groups will riot while hiding within the larger protests of maybe genuinely concerned people. The "western" media will engage with their usual pseudo liberal humanism and concern trolling. When the police in Iran tries to arrest those rioters who are raising havoc the media will scream "brutality". Some "martyr" will be created and iconified. Rumors of censorship and suppression will be raised (see Carl Bildt above), fake news will come from everywhere and hundreds of sock puppet Twitter and Facebook accounts will suddenly be "Iranian" and breathlessly report "from the scene" of their Langley offices.

For the Iranian politicians and police the issue is tricky. Economic protests are clearly justified with even Khameni voicing support for the issue. But rioting in the streets must be suppressed before it further escalates and becomes uncontrollable. Weapons on the protesters site firing in all directions may soon become a problem. The Mossad and the MEK are not shy of killing random people.

But the Islamic Republic in Iran has genuine support in large parts of the society. There are big civil organizations that support the government - not on every issue but in its general framework. Most Iranian's are proud nationalists and will be difficult to divide. If this is indeed the "regime change" attempt I suspect, I predict that it will fail.

Posted by b on December 29, 2017 at 02:45 PM | Permalink

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101 - it is suspicious.

What did Khamenei try to say here?

In a meeting with members of the Council of Coordination on Islamic Propagation on Dec. 27, Khamenei addressed Ahmadinejad indirectly, saying, “Those who had all the country’s facilities under their control and those who had the countries’ management facilities under their control aren’t entitled to play the role of opposition and talk against the country; rather, they should be responsive [now].” ... He added, “The US government is trying to divide Iran. It is also profiting from the help of some wealthy states in our region. They must know that we will advance, powerfully, with divine favor, just as we did when we defeated them in our region. Just as we rubbed their noses into the dirt, we will go forward with great power. With divine permission, we will disappoint the United States [and its ambitions] in all arenas.”

Those "government demonstrations" remembering the defeat of Green election protests in 2009 - they were meant to be in support of Ahmadinejad?

The effect of these counterdemonstrations with reactionary slogans and Kurdish support - they would unite the country?

Posted by: somebody | Dec 30, 2017 9:04:00 PM | 101

Messaging service Telegram has shut down a public channel that's been used to organize the anti-government protests in Iran after a government minister said itfeatured instructions on making Molotov cocktails and taking up arms.

“A Telegram channel is encouraging hateful conduct, use of Molotov cocktails, armed uprising, and social unrest. NOW is the time to stop such encouragements via Telegram,” Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, Iran’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology tweeted to Telegram’s founder, Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov.

Durov promised to investigate the case, and within hours suspended the ‘amadnews’ channel, saying that it violated the “no calls for violence rule.”

Edward Snowden took the decision as an opportunity to criticize Telegram.
“Telegram will face increasing pressure over time to collaborate with the Iranian government's demands for this or that. Today we saw the communications minister demand a big channel be shut down… Should Telegram shut one Iranian channel down to preserve access to all the others? Most would say ‘of course.’ It's more important to keep that tether to their ecosystem alive, right?” wrote the former NSA employee, who is currently resident in Russia, in a chain of messages.

Posted by: thirsty | Dec 30, 2017 9:11:50 PM | 102

nice mention of b's work at zero hedge US State Department Hints At Iran Overthrow: Are We Witnessing The Early Stages Of Regime Change?

Further to this point, the always excellent Moon of Alabama blog explores the possibility that what we are witnessing is the beginning of a covert regime change operation in Iran, similar the story of the war in Syria.

Posted by: thirsty | Dec 30, 2017 9:42:40 PM | 103

It simply incorrect about Iran's demographics. In fact contrary to the reporting, by the time Khomeini (Supposedly) called for higher fertility (his speech doesn't actually refer to anything like that, rather he mentions something vague about an army of 20 million, to a group of Basij) Iran's fertility rates had already started to fall dramatically. In fact the population increaase had started around the middle 1970s, well before the revolution too. (Also, claims that Iran banned contraception are completely false. Kevan Harris has agreat new book I can only recommend on the social development of Iran post revolution)

Iran's poverty rates are low and falling and living standards have MASSIVELY improved since the 1979 Islamic Revolution as evidenced by Iran's Human Development Index.

However Iran also has a hi Gini Index (economic disparity) comparable to the US, so while poverty rates fall, there is still a relative perception of poverty

Posted by: Cyrus | Dec 30, 2017 10:52:44 PM | 104

remember the Taash Network in Iran promoted by the Democracy Council?

Posted by: Cyrus | Dec 30, 2017 10:56:21 PM | 105

i agree with james in this regards.

as for the itanian spring why not we cannot allow these mullahs to run amok and kill the innocents golda myears menechem beginthe begin said never again should we sit idly by and allow new hitlers to suceed. we must form a coalition with the uk,usa,israel,saudi barberia and norways,canuck and aussie kiwi the goyim must fight for it is written in the talmoodicks that these lands belong to the khazaria ask a nazim.
oded yinon which path to persia brookings chatham house rules david sterling sas frank kitson gang counter gang and pseudogang.
whatever way you spell it freedum and democracy must prevail.
rita katz site intel group now showing oil pipeline demolitions does this not show and proove like saddam the iranian menace are destroying mossadick genie energy owned oil fields within the disputed iranian territories.
the coalition of the willings must secure greater israels land grabs now

Posted by: menechem golan globus | Dec 30, 2017 10:57:32 PM | 106

“All this leads to only one conclusion - the Western media is manufacturing a story, with little basis in Iran's reality and recent history.”

Posted by: x | Dec 30, 2017 11:19:17 PM | 107

These protests are reminiscent of those in 2009. Recall the 2009 Ashura day riots? They were fomented by western IC sources, and as this cable released by wikileaks illustrates the behind-the-scences tactics employed to interfere in Iran's political affairs. Here are some notable exerpts (I encourage you to read the wikileak cable in its entirety):

"some of those arrested in connection with the December 27 Ashura-day 'riots' were part of an Iranian network connected to the German Intelligence network was composed of young men and women who did propaganda w Service and were being guided by German diplomats in Iran... work for the Green Path Opposition (GPO) and were in contact with foreign websites and elements"

"These two German diplomats,
using the aliases 'Yogi and Ingo' were active in this regard, and
there were films and pictures of them in contact with young Iranian
men and women 'outside of diplomatic relations.'
These two German diplomats were present during the Ashura-day riots and had 'greens signs, bracelets and t-shirts' which they distributed"

"The Deputy Intelligence Minister told press that US-based
Mohsen Sazegara and UK-based Alireza Nurizadeh were two key
individuals abroad serving to guide the 'rioters,' making
statements and using BBC and VOA to call people to the streets."

"In terms of theoretical guidance, he said both Vali Nasr
and Hossein Bashiriyeh, both President Obama advisors, were leading
the US intellectual current concerning Iran and were helping guide
USG use of cyberspace to support Iran's 'seditionist current.'"

"He said 30 of this group were arrested in conjunction
with the Ashura day riots, along with approximately 20 Mujahedin-e
....He also cited the Ashura-related arrests of 15 Bahais,
who it characterized as a tool of the 'Zionist regime' (Note: the
'Bahi World Center' is in Haifa)."

"also cited the arrest of an approximately 42-year old Iranian woman, affiliated with a 'royalist terrorist group,' who held 'several European passports,'
and who had come to Iran after the election to stir up trouble. She had recruited 'thugs and goons,'
paying them with gold and jewelry."

Posted by: Tacitus | Dec 30, 2017 11:39:32 PM | 108

mossadick genie energy. tell more who are these people; where is the oil how big of a company are they, where are they producing now?

also interesting please explain the content in this link in light of the so called revolutions supposed to be taking place in Iran?

seems to the big problem is in Turkey, Syria, Golan Heights, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan and maybe Pakistan.. they have yet to come under common leadership..when they do (the divide and conquer strategy will fall apart) MBS, Sisi, and several others might find some use for a golden head sized basket. I might point out the country with dying economy and rising unemployment is Saudi Arabia.. the Yemenis are getting more accurate each day with their toys. .

Posted by: | Dec 30, 2017 11:55:04 PM | 109

ignore @107 golan globus - hasbara spin artist.. charles drake and etc. etc. names.. read it like some trash paper like the nypost or something..

Posted by: james | Dec 31, 2017 12:53:07 AM | 110

#85 Now the Left is going to be scapegoated for calling out the ZIONIST agenda in IRAN/Middle East?
Wake up and address the real deal: this is continuation of 911 Wars for ISRAEL to conquer the M.E and cement its hegemony over the region for the NWO. Final borders- Nile to Efrat. Quote from AJC giong back to the 1950s

Posted by: Husseini | Dec 31, 2017 1:09:13 AM | 111

Apologies to b regarding my accusations that he was ignoring the Q Anon "storm" against the deep state and Soros. Seems that was a diversion to dupe Trump supporters like I was until a few days ago (when Trump moved to arm Ukraine and restart that unnecessary war).

Posted by: B Logical | Dec 31, 2017 3:53:54 AM | 112

@ james. Perhaps a relevant quote.. Nietzche "And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 31, 2017 4:58:01 AM | 113

Judging from twitter posts Trump supporters are all in for regime change in Iran

Posted by: 20_hz | Dec 31, 2017 7:20:01 AM | 114

Posted by: 20_hz | Dec 31, 2017 7:20:01 AM | 115

And Al Arabya. And Hillary Clinton. And John McCain :-))

Posted by: somebody | Dec 31, 2017 7:39:23 AM | 115

@somebody | Dec 31, 2017 7:39:23 AM | 116

And KSA and Likud MP....Blanco y en botella = Leche, that we say here...

Happy New Year to everybody, especially to my very appreciated people in Iran, I hope they can handle this foreign meddling.
Special regards for the suffering people in Syria and Yemen, as well, I wish you a peaceful and prosperous 2018!

A hug!

Posted by: elsi | Dec 31, 2017 8:39:58 AM | 116

In the photos I've seen of protesters in Iran, almost everyone of the placards is in English, not Farsi; same with the circulating social media content. If the protests were genuinely indigenous, placards and other communications would be in Iran's native language, the majority of whom speak Farsi. Clearly, the target audience for such placards and social media is the West since they're in English, which is also a dead giveaway for the authorities as to the source of the protests.

So, the New Year will begin with a 100% completely delegitimized "protest" aimed at becoming the precursor to an Aggressive War beginning with a Regime Change Revolt--a tragedy we've seen far too many times. It's beyond time for the perpetrators to be outed, vilified, tried, and put into a supermax for the rest of time.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 31, 2017 9:24:46 PM | 117

@114 peter au.. thanks.. you figure that is what is happening with me bothering to read clarles drake / aka hasbara artist? good point, lol..

Posted by: james | Jan 1, 2018 5:02:21 AM | 118

Red Ryder posted: Iran needs a clean economic plan of development. (…) Grow the nation's potential, harness the talent of the young, invest in infrastructure, tie the future to Eurasia and don't succumb to EU and US illusions.

Yes! But, obstacles. Imho the present protests are due to:

— rising inequality which has come about because of ‘reformist’ Rouhani policies, moving more towards capitalism, foreign investment, privatization, opening up banking, etc. (see Syria..), the ’nuke’ deal, etc. Away from Ahmadinejad ‘populist,’ ‘stipends’, ‘price controls,’ etc. One can quibble about ‘growth’ its measurement, pertinence, etc. but clearly it hasn’t been distributed downwards at all in Iran.

—- youth unemployment at around 30% (official stats) is not bearable (that the pop exploded and there are too many young ppl may be true but they are now alive.)

—- a large part of the Iran economy, maybe 40%, not an exagerated estimate, is controlled by the religious authorities thru land ownership, mega biz, big corp, transport, etc. Iran is a country of monopolies in one sector or another. That is often now called corruption which is a misnomer as it does not challenge the underlying structure, only the surface of ‘deals’ (shady envelopes, gvmt. decrees, etc.)

So the question is deeply political, and not just ‘economic adjustement’ around the edges as I suppose Red Ryder would agree.

--from an outside eye on the top of a swiss moutain maybe someone from Iran has more or different and of course, sanctions.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 1, 2018 8:16:58 AM | 119

busted flush
james old boy
all you have is laugh out loud
why james you lol when you want cry
sayanim hasbara site security.

deconstruct controlled demolition of my words
just lol
michael collins piper wrote a book about folks like you
called judas goat or was it goats
keep directing the traffic down the one way street moshe

Posted by: charlie drake | Jan 1, 2018 10:59:10 AM | 120

b concluded with: If this is indeed the "regime change" attempt I suspect, I predict that it will fail.

Two days ago I agreed with this conclusion. Yet today things have gotten much worse. Whoever is behind these demonstrations it is clear that they have now moved to a higher level (a dozen fatalities spread over many cities). It is difficult to see any serious threat to the Islamic Republic but there are some powerful forces pushing these demonstrations. Of course the US and their MEK minions are involved. But also it could involve the Islamic guards (who started shooting in those most recent events?) using this as an opportunity to undermine the Rouhani government. And maybe bring back one of their thugs.

Posted by: Toivos | Jan 1, 2018 2:58:20 PM | 121

Posted by: Toivos | Jan 1, 2018 2:58:20 PM | 123

Yep. There is an internationale of hardliners.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 1, 2018 3:08:30 PM | 122

add 124

It would not be the first time
Frontline - October Surprise - Reagan/Khomeini

Posted by: somebody | Jan 1, 2018 3:23:59 PM | 123

!22 charles.. no deconstruction necessary, lol..

Posted by: james | Jan 1, 2018 3:39:54 PM | 124

@119 karlof1

If the vast majority of placards are in English than your point begs repeating: this is not a movement that wants to convince their countrymen. This is a movement that begs for foreign intervention to assist in forcing their authority upon the country. It is not peaceful and their motives are no doubt easily intertwined with genuine grievances to confuse the outgoing picture of these protests. I think jackrabbit said in this thread that the US has neoliberal problems, too, and none due to sanctions. Iran does not need the west's "help."

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 2, 2018 12:08:45 PM | 125

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