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 19:45 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Thanks for the Iran analysis b

I saw the reports of unrest in Iran and know that the pot is being stirred externally.

Trump needs his war to be a real US president, Netanyahoo needs cover for his crimes and SA needs cover for its war crimes.

The carousel keeps spinning faster and faster. How many will die when it crashes? Sad.....and hard to watch

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 29 2017 19:56 utc | 1

thanks for this b... i agree with your 3rd to last paragraph and the line in the 2nd to last one "Mossad and the MEK are not shy of killing random people." it seems these paid stooges - carl bildt and etc, are quite happy to try another regime change/ green revolution on iran.. everything has been headed in this direction for some time.. usa/israel saber rattling towards iran 24/7, financial sanctions and etc. etc. it never stops.. these neo-con regime change artists get extremely tiring and predictable..

Posted by: james | Dec 29 2017 20:19 utc | 2

Aggressive war on Iran via Regime Change has as much chance of success as the same being done to Russia or China, although I'm not saying it won't be tried. The Saker has a thought-provoking article about the chances of war occurring in 2018 and where; regarding Iran, reneging the nuclear deal remains a Trump priority, but that would likely further isolate the Outlaw US Empire from its EU vassals. As for Iran's economy, it will soon begin feeling the effects of its ties to the BRI; and after the decades of sanctions, it's mostly removed from the Empire controlled financial architecture. Plus, numerous Iranian construction companies will benefit from the rebuilding required in Syria and Iraq which will begin to ramp-up now that most of the Empire's proxies are defeated.

And it's the events in Syria and Iraq that will doom any attempt at Regime Change in Iran to failure as the Iranian people are too savvy to be duped as they've seen that strategy tried against everyone of its presidential administrations since 1979.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 29 2017 20:52 utc | 3

It appears the initial attempt was to be made in Jordan:

"King of #Jordan dismisses his 3 brothers; Faisal, Ali and Talal from Jordanian army command after evidence of them contacting #Saudi leaders Mohammad bin Salman and Mohammad bin Zayed to formulate a coup against him. All 3 brothers are now under house arrest." [A correction says Talal is a cousin; so, 2 brothers and cousin arrested.]

MbS must have been a Keystone Kop in a previous life.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 29 2017 21:20 utc | 4

you say:
"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 IMF disagrees with you B.
"Real gross domestic product growth is projected to reach 4.2 percent in 2017-18 and is expected to be sustained or even rise toward 4.5 percent over the medium-term if financial sector reform takes hold."

After struggling for years under sanctions, Iran’s economy picked up in 2016 after most restrictions were removed under a deal with world powers on its nuclear program. Gross domestic product grew 12.5 percent last year, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 29 2017 21:33 utc | 5

i just let the links here.
The networks of "democratic" interference:

« Color revolution » fails in Iran:

The CIA and the Iranian experiment:

NED, the Legal Window of the CIA:

the Iranian mek, another imperial tool?

Posted by: la Cariatide | Dec 29 2017 21:56 utc | 6

There was some mention of Soros’s twitter account not being active the last month.
Maybe now we know what he’s been up to.

Posted by: NotBob | Dec 29 2017 21:58 utc | 7

Has anyone seen the Nuland woman lately?

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Dec 29 2017 22:12 utc | 8

Iran, Syria and NK - the last countries without a Rothschild central fraud bank.

Posted by: Boyo | Dec 29 2017 22:23 utc | 9

b, while I was much interested by the analysis in your piece, a factor I think you ignore is the class aspect of conflict in Iran. The current Iranian religious regime can be described as 'populist', in that it appeals to the lower classes, the poorer classes, in order to stay in power. The old Iranian upper class have an enormous sense of entitlement, entitlement to power, which goes back to Sasanian times (226-637AD), when the lords didn't pay taxes, only the serfs did. Islam was the first popular revolution, but the elite wormed its way back into power as administrators for the Turkish and Mongol Sultans. They had their success with the Shah's regime, but were of course outed with the Islamic Revolution of 1979, and most went into exile. The 2009 movement was an attempt to put the upper classes back into power, which failed of course because they are not popularly the majority.

Today, if I understand correctly, most of that class who remain in Iran have havered, and adapted to the new reality, the revolution being 38 years ago now. Things have moved on, but the exiles haven't. No doubt the Iranian advisors to Washington want to restore the Shah's regime.

The question will be: are the new demonstrations genuinely a manifestation of popular revolt? or a repeat of 2009, where the minority rebelled?

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 29 2017 22:28 utc | 10

Protesters are said to have chanted against the "Islamic Republic Regime"

Posted by: Andrea | Dec 29 2017 22:41 utc | 11

Twitter is basically swamped with MEK accounts talking up regime change. Here's my personal favorite exchange:

@vida_861 - 3 hours ago, Replying to @A_Tabatabai
It's indeed the beginning of a revolutionary movement!!! it's the smell of a change which the oppressed people of #Iran were fighting for so long✌️We the iranian comunity we don't this regime #No2Rouhani #FreeIran

@GeromanAT - 3 hours ago
who should lead Iran then? Is there a special new leader you have in mind?

@vida_861 - 3 hours ago
The only alternative to this regime are the MEK, they are the only existing opposition group in and outside of #Iran

Posted by: Guest77 | Dec 29 2017 22:48 utc | 12

It was funny to see the chants "Long live Reza Shah" and "Death to Rouhani" in the stories I caught on my cellphone today. I knew these had to be isolated incidents before the basij, police, or Guard kick in.

I was 10 when we lived there in the early 70s. The Shah/SAVAK had the power and it was an interesting learning experience. My barber's was moreso as he was there as a boy in the early 50s during the overthrow. He has a pic of his father with the Shah (who is in a uniform) and others at some kind of club. His father had an Iranian passport and uniform so definitely CIA or something related. My father once claimed to be CIA (to his last spouse) but he was more of a tech supporting the communications set up that relayed info from the listening posts on the border with Russia.

b. Good point about sock-puppet twitter and facebook accounts being used to push a non-Arabic spring. Obama's recent negative comments about social media leave out the fact that they like to use it like they did in Egypt. It's a hypocrisy like using Stuxnet against Iran but squealing about similar used against the US.

Posted by: Curtis | Dec 29 2017 22:49 utc | 13

Looks like the focus has shifted from China/North Korea to Iran now.   I agree that fostering division inside Iran will be next to impossible, especially now. Iranians are a smart bunch of people, and have prepared themselves for the coming attacks from the AAZ Empire.

Posted by: Ian | Dec 29 2017 22:54 utc | 14

US occupied sections of Iraq and Syria seem likely to be part prepostioning for the Trump admin assault on Iran. Social unrest, terrorist attacks ect, and perhaps a US airstrike or two.
Gives free movement of jihadists through north east Syria and Iraq to the Iran border. Any attack on US bases or personnel in Syria will be blamed on Iran and used as an excuse to ramp things up, airstrikes, drum up a 'coalition' or whatever.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 29 2017 22:56 utc | 15

Trump has repeated the meme, on numerous occasions, 'Iran was on the brink of collapse because of sanctions when Obama through them a lifeline'. BTW I think he actually believes this.

So here is a thought, perhaps the protests are being done by MEK, the Saudis, Israel, etc, but without U.S. involvement to convince Trump that now is the time to kill the JCPOA and go for Iran's juggler. I know that this makes the U.S. sound stupid and easy to play but that is just because we are stupid and easy to play.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Dec 29 2017 22:57 utc | 16

No one in Iran cares about Paul Ryan, Cotton, few even about Trump. These protests are mostly legitimate and almost no one involved wants Iran to be a US puppet state.

Posted by: purple | Dec 29 2017 23:05 utc | 17

@purple, fair enough. A better way for me to phrase it would be the 'perception management' of the protests.

For example, the 2009 election protests were legitimate but in the U.S. a myth developed that the Iranian 'regime' was on the verge of dissolution and had Obama merely supported the protesters Iran would have become a totally different country. I would not discount the possibility of operatives being in Iran but quite frankly that would be a dangerous occupation given Iran's penchant for arrests and liberal use of the death penalty.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Dec 29 2017 23:13 utc | 18

CC @20--

The "myth" was yet another Big Lie meant for domestic consumption. Sure did dupe the dotard and many of his ilk. MEK and kin represent an existential threat to Iran and will be treated as such.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 29 2017 23:30 utc | 19

You'll notice massive "media" coverage of the non-events occurring in Iran while totally ignoring the very real Days of Rage protests happening in the West Bank, with the former getting coated by Western government diarrhea while mute on latter.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 29 2017 23:52 utc | 20

These are the four points the US and Israel agreed on at recent meetings...
1/ Covert and diplomatic action to block Iran’s path to nuclear weapons – according to the U.S. official this working group will deal with diplomatic steps that can be taken as part of the Iran nuclear deal to further monitor and verify that Iran is not violating the deal. It also includes diplomatic steps outside of the nuclear deal to put more pressure on Iran. The working group will deal with possible covert steps against the Iranian nuclear program.
2/ Countering Iranian activity in the region, especially the Iranian entrenchment efforts in Syria and the Iranian support for Hezbollah and other terror groups. This working group will also deal with drafting U.S.-Israeli policy regarding the “day after” in the Syrian civil war.
3/ Countering Iranian ballistic missiles development and the Iranian “precision project” aimed at manufacturing precision guided missiles in Syria and Lebanon for Hezbollah to be used against Israel in a future war.
4/ Joint U.S.-Israeli preparation for different escalation scenarios in the region concerning Iran, Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.
In my opinion number 3 is what Israel is concerned with, 100,000 Hezbollah missiles [which they claim to have] with precision guidance could reduce Tel Aviv to rubble, 5,000 could do the job.

Posted by: harrylaw | Dec 29 2017 23:59 utc | 21

The US state dept have just called on other nations to protest the arrest pf peaceful demonstrators in Iran. A minor detail here, in the UK.. "By law you must tell the police in writing 6 days before a public march if you're the organiser. Tell the police the: date and time of the march; route; the names and addresses of the organisers. Otherwise the protests are unlawful.

Posted by: harrylaw | Dec 30 2017 0:17 utc | 22

b, your analysis has an important missing element.

The orchestrated protests were planned and initiated by some of the hardliner political factions who lost the last presidential election to the centrist Rouhani, who is an extremely capable conservative+liberal politician, has the support of the highly popular reformists & significant parts of the powerful conservatives, therefore has a potential to become the next supreme leader. These protests were supposed to be used as a leverage to "burn" Rouhani and also further close-down the socio-political arena for the reformists and centrists.

But, these planned protests backfired, because (1) they turned into genuine protests and (3) were hijacked by the US-EU backed Iranian opposition groups.


"Hardliners had plans to organize massive protests against Rouhani on Saturday. They tested it earlier in some cities, but it was hijacked by Pahlavists backed by VOA, Manoto, and some Telegram channels. Now same hardliners have to defend state against Pahlavists."

Posted by: bamdadi | Dec 30 2017 0:23 utc | 23

It remains to be see if "popular protests" were hijacked by anti-government groups (government = hardliners + "softliners"), or it was the activity of smallish groups joining at the periphery that could make some so-so videos but with small lasting impact. After all, smallish groups can be mopped up, and "genuine demands" can be addressed, in short term at least, by throwing a bit of cash -- e.g. some big foundation can take over a bankrupt factory.

A good example of that was in Armenia, where "electric springs" consisted of protest against a rise in electricity prices (Russian power company) plus some violence by nationalist extremists (a hostage crisis), Russian company rolled back the increase, extremists were eventually arrested, and Armenia got some arms contract with Russia with very good credit terms (Armenia actually has a serious need for arms and allies, and the West can provide none of them). Iran is a big country, so problems cannot be patched as easily, but it is also not as easy to shake the government.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 30 2017 1:00 utc | 24

Re: Laguerre | Dec 29, 2017 5:28:18 PM | 11
It seems that wherever you look, it is the oligarchs that keep humanity submerged in endless warfare, which misdirects the resources that could be used to eliminate human suffering. The compradors are always available to work against social justice, as long as they are allowed to keep their fortunes and power.

Posted by: Perimetr | Dec 30 2017 1:06 utc | 25

It doesn’t take much to hijack protests. A small number of agent provocateurs will do either in the crowd or amongst the police. Thus every protest is suspect.

Posted by: Alaric | Dec 30 2017 1:29 utc | 26

The more moronic US politicians talk the greater the chance these protests fizzle. Too bad, because Iran needs nationalist Left politicians. It does make one realize how delusional the Paul Ryans of the world are, which bodes ill for the North Korean stand off. The US ruling class might be so delusional to think they can win a ground war in Asia. My god.

Posted by: purple | Dec 30 2017 2:44 utc | 27

Carl Bildt is a nasty man who played a key roll in moving Sweden into the neoliberal NATO/Atlanticist orbit. He is a fully bought and paid for evangelist for the global (neo)liberal establishment. If he is promoting these "spontaneous" protests on Twitter there is a good chance his involvement goes deeper than that.

When Iraq attacked Iran in 1980 even Iranians who had no love for Ayatollah Khomeini and his government put aside their differences with the theocratic regime and stood as one with all Iranians to defend their nation from foreign aggressors. If the US, Israel and the sycophant chumps who support them think Iranian dissatisfaction with their government means they are on side with a foreign attack or invasion...they have another thing coming.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Dec 30 2017 2:57 utc | 28

Same script different country.In an economy that is deficient, sow the seeds of discontent with a little cash, and hire some assassins, bingo, regime change down the road. Time will tell whether or not the usual suspects succeed.

Posted by: ben | Dec 30 2017 3:02 utc | 29

Oh well that explains why the detestable englander pol Boris Johnson fucked off for a few days in Iran just before Xmas. He needed to pretend he cared now before the Zaghari traitor is convicted and sentenced for all her crimes.
The englander public have been fed a load of tosh about what Iranian quisling Nazanin Zaghari(-Ratcliffe) was locked up for.
This has enabled propaganda outlet the BBC to push the current beat up of riots in the streets of Iran with a straight face.

You see and Nazanin Zaghari has been charged with offences she committed during while an employee of the BBC 'Persian' service.
Some may remember that well known proponent of democracy and liberty, Hillary Clinton (we came we saw - he died tee hee hee) was amerikan secretary of state back then and she as many readers will recall got Congress to allocate $20 million to support so called, way back then 'new tech' initiatives to aid the Iranian opposition.
Setting aside the reality that whatever opposition there was was an entirely amerikan construct and that for the space of several weeks the two submarine and one landline which connected Iran to the rest of the world were mysteriously hit with accidents (a trawler dragging up the cable etc) which would have eaten up a good deal of the 20 mill, enough dosh was left over to fund a little known adjunct of the BBC, the BBC World Service Trust international charitable project. According to wikipedia Zaghari provided training courses to Iranian journalists, some of whom were convicted for participating in the 2008 foreign training course much later, in 2014.

Some of those rotten traitors 'sang' once arrested (what else would you expect from middle class 'its all about me' types - honour?), and confronted by the depth of their betrayal, they provided sufficient evidence against Zaghari who, it should be known was entirely Iranian in 2009 at the time she turned against her homeland, betraying her compatriots at the behest of their enemies. In fact Zaghari was fresh outta grad school, the tab for which had been picked up by the nation she so readily betrayed. After all, girl has a right to get ahead.

I agree with Laguerre that bourgeoisie and associated comprador opportunists have totally penetrated the Iranian political structure and that a purge is badly needed.
I can understand why the clerics favoured these types over the far more realistic and well grounded Ahmadinejad, since the crooked, duplicitous amerikan empire would never have cut a deal with Ahmadinejad - he wouldn't have gone along with the current 'loopholes' in the sanctions deal/nuclear agreement which keep eurocorps rich while preventing ordinary Iranians from eating, but now the deal has been done the Rouhani crew need be shown the door - fast.

Perhaps that is what this current round of useful idiot provoked by bourgeois opportunists, 10 person 'protests' are about.

It is simply an attempt to create some type of confrontation which can be deemed a 'warcrime' by agent orange in the event of a more people oriented government taking control of Iran.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Dec 30 2017 3:04 utc | 30

One reason that the current protests in Mashhad and other cities around Iran are likely to fail as a tactic is that constant repetition over several countries can only work so much. Tehran will only be too aware of how the de facto US war against Syria began and the Iranians may well have followed how the so-called Electric Revolution started and sputtered out in Yerevan in 2015. Ukraine is not all that far away either. A number of Central Asian countries also experienced "color revolutions". So wherever Iran looks around its neighbourhood, it sees the same patterns and tactics of regime change occurring over and over again.

The one possible weak link is the snipers who take over the initial protests and use them to fire on both protesters and police, and to burn cars and buildings, as was done in Dar'aa (Syria) in 2011 and in Kiev in 2014. These snipers are likely to be foreign mercenaries/jihadis. Iran needs to monitor who is coming through its borders at the present time and to keep a close eye on any armaments coming in as well.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 30 2017 3:11 utc | 31

Somehow I doubt we'll be seeing many Iranian based websites or even Iranian sourced twits as Zaghari's chief task last time was teaching known anti Iranian government old school print journos how to build websites and the best ways to make tweets go 'viral' by using compliant amerikan tech firms.

The trouble is it seems she didn't bother to tell her marks that everything on the net is traceable. It took Iran longer than it would take the 'every bit shall be stored' NSA to track down the culprits, but they did find them all eventually which natch enough makes finding new marks somewhat 'problematic' for the empire.
So it will be rather distracting to discern how the troublemakers intend to resolve that issue this time around.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Dec 30 2017 3:47 utc | 32

This sounds extremely theatrical.
If the US/Israel meeting took place AFTER Dec 6, when Trump declared Jerusalem to be the capital of the Shitty Little Country, then its sole purpose was to get the Palestinian Holocaust out of the headlines.

They only replaced it with the "Iran!" threat because they've got no imagination and believe too much of their own bullshit. No-one is going to attack Iran, especially not the gutless AmeriKKKan racist-supremacists or their suffering/simpering "Israeli" counterparts.
Bibi is sufficiently stupid to believe that Trump did "Israel" a favour by pretending he had the Authority to unilaterally 'recognise' Jerusalem.

Fortunately, the meeting came too late and now twice as many people know the facts behind the "Piece" Process than were previously aware of it.
"Israel" is so-o f****d.
Where will the next Jewish social-engineering experiment be located?
Will it be called Israel?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 30 2017 4:00 utc | 33

It was recently announced Iran woukd be joining the Eurasian Economic Union . Last country that planned to do so was Ukraine in 2014 and shortly after the US led coup took care of that. History repeats. Only question is will they succeed as they did in Ukraine or need to take futher measures

Posted by: Pft | Dec 30 2017 4:30 utc | 34

I think the goal is to give Russia an excuse to turn on Iran

Posted by: paul | Dec 30 2017 5:40 utc | 35

Pft | Dec 29, 2017 11:30:53 PM | 38

Actually the EEU didn't exist in 2014; it came into force on January 1, 2015 and Ukraine had nothing to do with it.
The coup was to ensure Ukraine didn't have a trade deal with Russia; just the EU.
Iran is a natural/logical member of the EAEU and far too strong for the U.S. to stop it's induction into that trade group/union.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Dec 30 2017 5:54 utc | 36

paul | Dec 30, 2017 12:40:00 AM | 39

Sorry, that's ridiculous; kindly do your homework.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Dec 30 2017 5:56 utc | 37

@6 Aggressive war on Iran via Regime Change not likely to succeed. @ 16 chaos inside Iran unlikely . @14 Twitter swamped with regime change champs @11 Iranian advisors to Washington want to restore the Shah's regime. @22 massive "media" coverage of the non-events occurring in Iran while totally ignoring the very real Days of Rage protests happening in the West Bank, @26 extremely revealing note "Hardliners planed to organize massive protests against Rouhani on Saturday... but was hijacked by Pahlavists backed by VOA, Manoto, and some Telegram channels. Now same hardliners have to defend state against Pahlavists.”

then we have

@18 MEK, Saudis, Israel, etc, turmoil designed to force Trump to kill the JCPOA and go for Iran's juggler. . @23.. US/Israel counter Iran objectives: block Iran path to nuclear weapons, ballistic and precision guided missiles and social entrenchment in regions generally under Saudi-Israeli control,

Next is the confusion over explaining the two Brothers and cousin of the King of Jordan recently disposed seeming from an attempt to over throw the King.. could this be another a part of this Kushner, MBS, Netyanyohu/SISI/ plan? Apparently Hariri would not go along and neither would Saleh in Yemen (i think assassinated last week)

@24 unlicensed demonstrations in US found in

D. C. Riot Statute: he who “willfully associates” with some other person [“assemblage”] that ends up threatening to cause tumult or some how gets involved in violence, is a rioter , and can therefore be criminally prosecuted (see US v. Mathews). Guilty if you “merely agree” ←that’s all it takes--> to be incarcerated for 50 years. USSC ruling, I reported elsewhere, distinguishes riot from legitimate protest. but has effect of criminalizing association if defendant identified to a group or person that engages or merely threatens tumult or violence). Judge not interested to hear 1st amendment pleas, seeks only facts that associate>? IANAL

@30 The US ruling class might be so delusional to think they can win a ground war in Asia. There is no US ruling class it the Wall street licensed Corporate establishment..

@33 “Ahmadinejad - he wouldn't have gone along with the current 'loopholes' in the sanctions deal/nuclear agreement which keep eurocorps rich while preventing ordinary Iranians from eating, but now the deal has been done the Rouhani crew need be shown the door – fast.”
CAN YOU PLEASE ELABORATE ON THIS . and how did that keep the corporations rich.. I have been wondering why the EU continues to support the agreement.

@? its sole purpose was to get the Palestinian Holocaust out of the headlines.
I DONT THINK SO, IT PURPOSE Seems to be in the SANCTUARY PROGROM.. invented by Whitehouse, Netanyohu, MBS , Sisi Move the Palestinians out of Israel into the Sinai to a Jordan controlled new nation state where all Palestinian Towns and villages can be surrounded by Israeli Settlements..”

Posted by: | Dec 30 2017 6:23 utc | 38

@bambdadi @24

I had read the claim that conservatives started these protests. I have seen ZERO evidence for it. None of the slogans I the videos points to that nor anything else.

Posted by: b | Dec 30 2017 6:59 utc | 39

@Laguerre @10 - In 2009 the northern part of Tehran protested. Rich kids mostly. This seems very different. Young people most of them but from the look of them way more working class than 2009. Also protest in may cities but not (yet)in Tehran.

I am wondering why this was started in Mashad. It is near the Afghan border. How relevant is that?

Posted by: b | Dec 30 2017 7:03 utc | 40

karlof1 @ 5

On the ground, the dismissal of the 3 princes is not a big deal. 2 of the 3 no longer had any military duties at all. Not even figuratively. Only in the case of the 3rd one does it appear to be an attempt at cleaning house on a number of levels.

Locally it is thought that the overarching rationale is that they were removed to make way for career soldiers who could not be promoted higher than the princes' ranks.

Overall, no big deal and no talk of coup

Posted by: guidoamm | Dec 30 2017 8:30 utc | 41

DW Deutche Welle has a story on it, undramatic and quite unbiased. They report it mainly as the result of rising prices, youth unemployment, ect. Could have been Greece....

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Dec 30 2017 9:18 utc | 42

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 29, 2017 3:52:21 PM | 4

And it's the events in Syria and Iraq that will doom any attempt at Regime Change in Iran to failure as the Iranian people are too savvy to be duped as they've seen that strategy tried against everyone of its presidential administrations since 1979.

Agree. And let us not forget the chaos in Libya, where it all also began with "protests". And of course Ukraine, which is today an impoverished hell-hole.

So, how many "color revolutions" which end up with destroyed countries does Langley think it can get away with before the people in the next targeted countries perk up and turn against the protesters ?

Posted by: Lea | Dec 30 2017 10:41 utc | 43

Posted by: | Dec 30, 2017 1:23:37 AM | 39

There is nothing arcane about what has happened to Iran since the deal. European petrocorps are buying natural gas most of the returns for which are 'sticking' to the Iranian corporate and technocrats, at the same time there has been a massive influx of inexpensive manufacturing goods - chiefly sourced from China.
What has happened is exactly the same as what many other welfare state economies suffered once neolibs took control. There was probably one factory in Iran which made toilet brushes for example - maybe it wasn't as 'efficient' as any of the 57 different brands of a la mode style toilet brushes now available at a quarter the price, but it worked plus more importantly making their own toilet brushes provided employment for Iranians.
Now all the manufactured goods which Iran had previously manufactured for themselves have to compete with slave labour/robotic mega mass produced alternatives, so the Iranian manufacturing sector is laying off workers while the 'new economy' offers few if any employment alternatives. Sound familiar?
Ahmadinejad who came from the humanist faction of islamic political thought, garnered most of his support from urban working people and small scale rural workers.
Rouhani is very much a neoliberal which means he didn't baulk at the structural deficiencies in the 'nuclear' agreement which at its heart was just another dodgy 'free' trade agreement.

Ahmadinejad wouldn't have signed the deal without protections for Iranian working people. Ordinary Iranians unfortunately got sucked into the headlines without studying the fine print - a common feature of neoliberal 'deals' everywhere.
amerika (apart from the apartheid state who bought amerikan politicians) is the only nation who doesn't support the deal wholeheartedly. Outside amerikan mind control most ordinary people are happy that an alleged nuclear threat has been halted and most nations' corporate sectors are pleased that another market has been made available.
In fact if you consider the amerikan debate you will find it was really only the energy sector which came out against the deal because they were concerned about their ability to replace russian energy in europe should russian sanctions properly bite, if Iran was going to be allowed to enter the euro market. Other amerikan corporations, particularly the tech sector welcomed the lifting of sanctions.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Dec 30 2017 11:17 utc | 44


b, this point (that the origin of these protests were orchestrated by parts of conservative political groups, rival to Rouhani) is all over the place in "Persian" official, semi-official, and social-media. In addition, many political figures here and there have openly spoken about it. The situation is complex, because the establishment cannot openly reject/approve the protests. So, what we see is lot of confused responses.

Here, the VP (Mr. Jahangiri) have spoken about this:

There are many many more. This is just an example.

And about the slogans.
Again, this can be due to some kind of limited or selective reporting. There are many videos shared among millions of Iranian (on Telegram) that shows slogans against Rouhani. These are mainly related to the original plan which as I said were supposed to use poor economic conditions as a weapon against Rouhani. But the slogans quickly widened and went beyond the original intention (against Rouhani's government). This was partly due to participation of ordinary people, but also to a large part due to foreign influence.

This video is one of the "early" demonstrations in Tehran. The slogan says: "down with Rouhani".

This one is from Mashhad. Here you can also hear "down with Rouhani".

The political spectrum in Iran can be very complex, diffused, and opaque. The lines are not clear at all, and people who compete in one arena, can be very aligned or organically linked on other arena. Therefore, I recommend a bit "humbler" approach in analyzing it.

Posted by: bamdadi | Dec 30 2017 11:40 utc | 45

And as usual the stupid, typical exile iranians support the neocons attacks against their own friggin country!
Just read the comments below on this:

Posted by: Anon | Dec 30 2017 12:40 utc | 46

I have not time right now to analyze this issue in deep, nor have read all the comments so far, but take into account that Mashhad, as a Holy City for Shi´a Islam is a kinda "open-city" pemanently crowded by foreigners, especially coming from the neighbor UAE....That´s what I witnessed during my two days visit just some few years ago ( when I decided to visit the country after increasing claims by Israel to attack it, so that be able to watch its marvels before all is reduced to ashes, as happened in Syria, another ME jewel I could visit before IS thugs arrived and where people seemed to have a lively and prosperous way of life...). So not difficult for all those Israeli agents with Arab or Persian appearance and impecable Arab or Farsi accent to travel there with fake passports to start uprising, the same way they infiltrate the lines of Palestinians protesters until they take out their pistols and reagroup to detain the Palestinian activists....

Add to this that Mashhad, located in the NorthEast Iranian border with Afghanistan ( and also bordering Turkmenistán ), could well be a prefect point for infiltrating takfiri jihadists recently moved to Afghanistán by US led coalition....

My impression during my visit, was that there was a quiet and good environment for working, studying and making business, not without the presence of obvioulsy well off people in the main cities, being the most poor those crowding the sanctuaries. Overall, I found a highly educated, open and polite country where a not despicable sector of the youth population seemed to have university education, speak foreign languages, especially English, and walk over there with their IT devices, very similar to what happens in the West , except for the mandatory scarves, which, in spite of being an annoyance ( at least for me in the heatest of the Iranian summer ) women wear there in very different styles, sometimes only in a very ingenious way insinuating a slight coverage of the back side of the hair while leaving almost all the hairdo in sight...These were the most modern I could see...

For what I could witness, life was running in a peaceful and very familiar way, with great respect for traditions and historical and cultural heritage ( they love their poets, and their mausoleums are so crowded, if not more, than those of their religious saints... ). People used to meet in huge familiar groups at sunset in squares, gardens, or under the bridges, where they bring baskets with something to eat and drink, offering always an open and honest smile and a bit of conversation to the foreigner amazed by the spectacle...The only complains I heard were coming from the daughter of a former Shah´s member of the army who told me that "singing and dancing was forbbiden" and spoke the hell about Khomeini, adding that "in the sleeves of the clerics they are the British"......With respect to this point, the offer on TV was quite scarce, being possibly the origin of those street meetings by families, with religious talkings and chants as almost the unique plate at every Iranian channel ( at least during the scarce time I passed at my room, just central hours of midday and late at night ) although you had always at your disposition foreign channels like BBC and so on...But women can go out freely with friends and can drive, and you can find couples where the man do not mind travelling as copilot while his wife is at the wheel...

In summary, Iran seemed to me a very open country with a good environment for business and interchange, whenever you go there respecting Iranians´choice and way of life. We meet some Spanish people travelling there for business who were amazed by the excellent reception, the same we were ( they talked about "being received like ambassadors", and that was also my impression, especially at Imam Reza Mausoleum in Mashhad...being we only tourists...), in front of the really somber and scary expectatives coming from all their relatives and friends they had before travelling there. We meet some of these business people at a our really charming hotel in Yazd and then at the very modern Armenian neighborhood in Isfahan, at one of its charming cafes.....

My impression is that both, the US and Israel, want to waste the current lively environment for business in Iran, a crosspoint as well in the Chinese OBOR initiative, where they have no opportunity to particpate because of their warmongerism and extremism, and this way achieving wasting any opportunities for business for the EU there, in another effort by the US to mantain the EU always under its boots without opportunity to prosper, as a way to say "if we do not play, we break the toy"....The thing is that nobody has left them out of playing, but it has been their sttuborn fantastic claims against Iran as patron of terrorism in the ME on behalf of its client regime in Israel which mantain them out...

Posted by: elsi | Dec 30 2017 13:18 utc | 47

Khorasan province is ethnically mixed including Kurds. I agree that there is a Western plan for regime change in Iran, Western reaction in support of demonstrators show it. They cannot do it by religion, so they would try ethnic.

BBC has an interesting map - and account - of the protests.

Notice the closed borders to Kurdistan that cause economic problems for the population there.

Inflation in Iran has shrunk overall since 2013. It is likely that protests have to do with subsidy cuts - ie Iran trying to switch from a war economy to a market economy.

That is like saying part of the Egyptian army supported the demonstrations against Mubarak to get rid of him. It is possible. Though not likely.

In the case of Egypt Western governments called for the Egyptian army to reinstate law and order. In the case of Iran Trump is siding with protesters.

The BBC Persian account in above link does not make sense

Many believe that money that should be used to improve their lives is being spent by Iran's leaders on conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Iraq. Billions are also being spent on spreading religious propaganda and Shia Islam around the world.

But it seems that the hardliners opposed to President Rouhani may have triggered the unrest by holding a demonstration that quickly grew out of control and spread to cities and towns across the country.

Surely hardliners are in favor of "spreading religious propaganda"?

Posted by: somebody | Dec 30 2017 13:21 utc | 48

@Bamdadi # 46

I think the Conservative fraction (Raisi) never fully accepted their defeat and voiced their opposition to Rohani by all means, including sporadic demonstrations and slogans. However, I see elements of green supporters taking advantage. Economic dissatisfaction is so deep, but it will not turn into something else that green supporters hoping.

Posted by: Loyal | Dec 30 2017 13:27 utc | 49

Once again we see Trump is a moron on foreign topics and once again we see western MSM spreading the neocon propaganda to the western naive populations.

Posted by: Anon | Dec 30 2017 14:30 utc | 50

A sort of remake, remix, co. W MSM, of the Green Iran ‘color’ movement which ‘failed’ as, had no impact, in 2009. So similar to -link- one wonders where is the creativity. The 2009 dull spectacular was also called the Twitter Revolution, ha ha. Bis repetita…and the end result will be the same, i.e. nothing, zero.

Green btw is the color of Islam and not an emblem of recycling glass bottles in Europe or hugging Jill Stein.

As for protests re. work, jobs, salaries, taxes, economics generally, in Iran these will not, for now, have any positive result. (As they won’t, would they ever arise, in KSA. For now.)

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 30 2017 15:05 utc | 51

The elevation of Tom Cotton to any position higher than head dog catcher, does not speak well for Team Trump and his secret agenda to rescue the common man.

Put another check in the box marked - we've been had.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Dec 30 2017 15:39 utc | 52

elsi 48
Thank you. The various travel and interview shows I've seen about Iran in recent years have said the same thing. Many there are somewhat westernized via education and are friendly to foreign/western visitors. There will be govt minders especially for filming in places like Tehran.

As to politics and the power in Tehran, there are factions as covered in some comments above. Moderates have some successes but the concentration of power is with the conservatives. This CaspianReport from last year sums up a lot of the struggle.

The protests do not surprise me but they are not necessarily a revolution as much as US/Israel would love to foment. For now they are happy with unrest.

Posted by: Curtis | Dec 30 2017 15:47 utc | 53

My guess is they are looking for any excuse to renege on the nuclear deal and when these protests fizzle out, they will condemn Iranian "repression" and use that to persuade the EU to rejoin the previous sanctions regime. That, I think, is the plan, anyway.

Posted by: lysander | Dec 30 2017 16:27 utc | 54

All very well, but never forget the power of demographics. It's like the tide coming in - on any given moment not much seems to happen, but give it time and it can undermine anything...

There was a population explosion right around the time that the Ayatollahs came to power - encouraged of course by government policy. At that time, as with Syria, there was a massive drop in living standards and an increase in political instability. This happens a lot, though it gets little (or no) press.

Since that time the Iranian government has mostly backtracked on its pro-natalist policy (a binge-and purge operation that happens so often when governments decide that they know best how many children people should have...), and Iranian fertility rates have fallen sharply - but there is still the demographic momentum of the previous high fertility rates, and the average Iranian is being crushed economically. So you have all these angry young men with no good prospects, never a good thing for stability. I would think that the Iranian government needs conflict with the United States, to redirect all these frustrations onto an external enemy... No, I'm not saying that Iran is evil and the US is a saint, I am saying that the Iranian government may feel the need for an external conflict of some sort, and this should be considered.

Remember, it's not the population density so much as the rate of increase. In 1960 there population of Iran was 20 million, now it's 80 million and still climbing rapidly. Certainly modern technology can allow 80 million people to live comfortably in a country the size of Iran, but the capital investments needed to do that are massive... a rapidly growing population sucks up all resources into daily living even as it radically increases the need for capital investment. This is an equation that does not balance, which is why countries with sustained high fertility rates NEVER develop into anything other than an even bigger mess...

Posted by: TG | Dec 30 2017 16:28 utc | 55

Oohhh... "Hundreds" of Browders protest in Iran. Like "Hundreds" of Browder-Navalny protesters in Russia. The U.S. just can't scare up the numbers any more. It's so sad. 'Come on everybody! Let's get out and we can be like the Ukraine too'.

Posted by: Robert McMaster | Dec 30 2017 16:33 utc | 56

Kurdish demonstrations against PUK in Sulaymaniya December 19.

Just across the border from Kermanshah and Hamadan.


Posted by: somebody | Dec 30 2017 16:43 utc | 57

Large numbers of ISIS fighters air lifted out of Syria have been dumped in Afghanistan ready to enter Iran from the east. Call it a replay of Syria.

Posted by: Anonymous | Dec 30 2017 16:52 utc | 58

debsisdead and elsi.. thanks for your posts..

@49 somebody - 2nd link.. thanks.. it seems to be a factor here..

regarding the proximity of afghan to iran and where the demonstrations supposedly bears watching given us / isis involvement in afghanistan..

Posted by: james | Dec 30 2017 17:07 utc | 59

Posted by: TG | Dec 30, 2017 11:28:20 AM | 56

I doubt your theory as there is no correlation between gdp per capita and population growth - it has increased despite of population growth.

The price of oil and sanctions presumably have more of an effect.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 30 2017 17:16 utc | 60

US may use Turkmenistan against Iran and Russia

Just across the border from Mashad.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 30 2017 17:23 utc | 61

Ultimate goal has long been Iran. Middle East Wars are simply jews' wars against Muslims who get in the way of Eretz Israel.

Posted by: Husseini | Dec 30 2017 17:24 utc | 62

Yes, expect to hear more from Khorasan.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 30 2017 17:41 utc | 63

For one, I was always under the impression that Iran resembled Libya in many ways. Both Nations were special in their respective immediate regions. Both had economic power from oil revenues that did not end up in the pockets of the few. Libya though was much more secular without the mandated religious rules of Iran. Having known members of both Nations, it was obvious that Iran had a well rooted establishment and that especially ex-pats in Bavaria (Shah's family's and followers loved Munich - the capitol of "the movement") were always quick to dismiss the revolution and subsequent from Islam derived socialism. They also praised the Shah with glossy eyes and stated that ultimately, they will get their country back.

It is therefore no surprise, that Iran never made it off the list of Nations that 'required' regime change - backed by horror stories about their respective leaders and 'living conditions' that we're generally free from the dog eat dog capitalist Western colonizers' systems.

Lastly, I would like to point to the incessant gas-lighting that emanates from corporate media outlets all over the West. Especially the National Billionaire's Radio is out doing itself in the character defamations of those leaders that are at the top of the list of Nations that are spinters in the Billionaires' eyes.

Shame on those working at NPR - nobody can nowadays excuse oneself with not knowing what truly happens all over the world. It is treason to spread misinformation.

I wish those who did not make others' people's lives miserable a healthy and prosperous new year.

Posted by: nottheonly1 | Dec 30 2017 18:03 utc | 64

Iran has not been allowed to be the modern Persia for more than 7 decades. The intrinsic nation within the heart and mind of Iranians has been torn by Western decapitation and oppression, followed by religious oppression and misdirection.

Iran could have the rapid growth and development it needs if it swiftly turns to Russia and China and ceases to be what it cannot.

Iran needs a clean economic plan of development. Economics is not about defeating Israel. Economic development will defeat Israel. A rich, stable Iran terrifies Israel. But Teheran seems determined to play the Israeli game.

It really is elementary stuff. 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.

The more Persian Iran becomes and the less Shiite, the better.
Ideology is the shortcut to ruin. Religious ideology as the basis for government is the expressway to ruin.

What is this Islamic Republic suffering from? Corruption!
Who are corrupt? The religious leaders running the government.
This is fatal.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Dec 30 2017 18:29 utc | 65

Jordan King arrests brothers and cousin in suspected Saudi led coup

Posted by: somebody | Dec 30 2017 19:00 utc | 66

Sunni jihadists claim they blew up Iran oil pipeline - News are via UAE

Some people are so transparent :-))

The disturbances are likely to relieve Saudi Arabia and the US who have feared the nation was positioning itself to become a regional superpower.

Aaron David Miller, a former US Middle East adviser, had previously warned that Iran was likely to win in their fight for control over Saudi Arabia.

Mr Miller said: “I don’t believe the Saudis are going to come out winners.”

The protests also take place as pressure grows both at home and abroad to relax strict Islamic laws in the country, including rules surrounding women’s dress.

For years women have been forced to cover their hair and wear long, loose clothing.

The conservative traditions placed the country at odds with Saudi Arabia as it seeks to modernise since Mohammed bin Salman became the country’s Crown Prince.

Reforms already taking place in Saudi Arabia include the decision to let women drive and plans to create a new tourist hub similar to Dubai on the coast of the Red Sea.

Let me guess - Saudi has been bankrolling any existing or non existing Iranian opposition group and are paying per demonstration video

Posted by: somebody | Dec 30 2017 19:12 utc | 67

So Israel and the US meet to plan on how to have regime change in Iran.And they complain about Russian meddling in US elections.Morons ,all of them.

Posted by: Guy | Dec 30 2017 19:18 utc | 68

b. thanks for quick analysis, as always!

I came across an oldie fron the Bush II years. In addition, Bush stoked unrest in neighbouring Pakistan –
Baluchistan through the Jundallah movement.

Countdown to War: Operation Free Iran (A timeline)

Posted by: Oui | Dec 30 2017 19:25 utc | 69

The plot thickens

Saeed Kamali Dehghan @SaeedKD ‏ Many Iranians - even those exiled - appear sceptical about the protests spreading across Iran. Many can't figure out why so many chants in support of monarchy/late Shah. They ask is this instigated? nostalgia? Is it contempt for clerics? Or middle class/working class difference?

I wonder, could this be the first Saudi prince initiative that will not backfire?

Posted by: somebody | Dec 30 2017 19:29 utc | 70

Saudi boy King Salman is working the Pakistan angle …

Nawaz Sharifs’ dash to Saudi Arabia fuels suspicions | Dawn |

The Saudi’s failed in meddling in Lebanon after house arrest of Saad Hariri in Riyadh.

Who got the better deal from apprentice president Trump? Russia’s Putin or Israel’s Netanyahu. Where do you think stems the collusion in the late election 2016, from Russian oligarchs or those linked to Israel? Fusion GPS oppo “research” was funded by Paul Singer and an Abu Dhabi sheikh. After Obama meddling in the Israel election of January 2016, was no one ready for a forceful revenge from Bibi? Washington DC has become a playground of foreign intrigue, propaganda and competing forces of intelligence. US Congress is an artists’s impression for the background curtains of the kabuki theater.

Trump has all reason to be thankful and gifted Jerusalem to Israel … generosity with Palestinian land, not his to give!

Posted by: Oui | Dec 30 2017 19:47 utc | 71

Video reportedly shows Iranian forces moving towards Mashhad, but the convoy would seem transporting Russian-made S-300 missile systems (Air Defense), is Tehran fearing something bigger than a protest?

If this is true, it would seem the Tehran isn't believing this is "organic". Rather suspicious being near the area ISIS has "sprung" up in Afghanistan.

Posted by: sorghum | Dec 30 2017 20:05 utc | 72

Debs @ 45: If conditions in Iran are as you described, think you NAILED it!!!

Posted by: ben | Dec 30 2017 20:07 utc | 73

The Tudeh Communist Party of Iran´s position on the orchestrated protests:

The Tudeh Communist Party of Iran: "The new strategic approach adopted by #USA in relation to Iran will pose specific and significant threats to national sovereignty and the security interests of our homeland." October 2017.

Posted by: elsi | Dec 30 2017 20:29 utc | 74

@ elsi | Dec 30, 2017 3:29:02 PM | 75

Well, wrong information in my post above, I misunderstood what was published by that twitter account, sorry, it was not its position on the protests, but on the strategic approach of the new US administration published in a communiquee in October.
Anyway, I fear that the communists, despite being opposition, will not support any initiative they see as instigated by foreign gets clear in their comuniquee

Posted by: elsi | Dec 30 2017 20:39 utc | 75

@ elsi | Dec 30, 2017 3:29:02 PM | 75

Wrong link to Tudeh Party´s site too. apologies..

Posted by: elsi | Dec 30 2017 20:42 utc | 76

A question as I am not up to speed (at all) on Iran's political arena; is there any chance Ahmadinejad would run for office again?

Posted by: frances | Dec 30 2017 20:51 utc | 77

Quoted from the Saving Private Ryan movie: « Go easy, watch for snipers ».

@64 Khorasan, Islamic eschatology says the Black Banner will come out of it..

Posted by: Lozion | Dec 30 2017 21:15 utc | 78

Fellow Iranian here. This is the deliberate result of Rouhani's executive government, they intentionally spread some rumors about 50%+ price increases in key consumer products, such as eggs and fuel, and then decided not to follow up with it. They also threatened the rest of the government that if they are not given more power, they will stir this more.

Three sides to this nasty game, one is the Ayatollah and IRGC, which have been the winner of Syrian issue, and are a thorn in the side of US alliance. The other side is Rouhani's executive branch, which has openly opposed the IRGC/Ayatollah decisions for the last 5 years, and has been in somewhat of an open opposition with them. The third side is the power mafia in Iran, which had Rouhani as one of their key members, but now want to throw him under the bus so that they can continue their own game, and thus have strongly opposed Rouhani's government and blame it for everything.

People are really confused, and don't know which voice to trust.

Posted by: Bioox | Dec 30 2017 21:36 utc | 79

Your scenario sounds unlikely as demonstrations seem to be AGAINST the Rouhani government. You sure the Rouhani government intentionally caused it? First people to be replaced by demonstrations would be the executive government - not the security forces.

The strange timing - just before demonstrations FOR the government that were planned a while ago?

People shouting MEK and monarchist slogans?

Posted by: somebody | Dec 30 2017 22:00 utc | 80

Kurdish parties

Kurdish parties have welcomed the protests.

The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) and Komala issued a joint statement asking for international support for the demonstrations. “The people of Kurdistan have always stood up against the Islamist regime and they support the people all over Iran in their struggle for freedom,” the parties stated.

The protests have the “potential to bring about fundamental changes” and set the country on the path to democracy and freedom, said the Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK) in a statement.

Let me guess - they chose the strategy to protest simultaneously in the provinces as there small numbers look big - and they don't have the numbers nor the support in Teheran.

And someone managed to coordinate all the opposition outside of the Iranian system. Some of the slogans and the hatred come from here.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 30 2017 22:41 utc | 81

Red Ryder for the win

Posted by: jezabeel | Dec 30 2017 23:03 utc | 82

Some beautiful videos from Iran beauties and way of life....
I posted some of them months ago at another blog encouraging people to flood Iran next year to avoid this joy and world heritage being destroyed by warmongers of always:

Imam Reza' holy shrine - Mashhad - Iran

Iran: Qom

The City of Shiraz

Historical Sites in Shiraz

Isfahan City

Abyaneh, Isfahan

Beautiful City of Yazd, Centre Of Zoroastrian Culture

Iran Chack Chack Zoroastrians Fire Temple

IRAN - Kashan, an overlooked gem of Persia

Kerman City

Iran Persian Gardens

Tehran (Beautiful relaxing north Tehran) Darband

Iranian Bread

Posted by: elsi | Dec 30 2017 23:24 utc | 83

Waiting for the Western "Left" to blame a working class uprising on all-powerful Mossad and CIA.

Posted by: purple | Dec 30 2017 23:26 utc | 84

Posted by: purple | Dec 30, 2017 6:26:00 PM | 85

Sure, let's start smashing banks in the US :-))

Posted by: somebody | Dec 30 2017 23:28 utc | 85

@ purple | Dec 30, 2017 6:26:00 PM | 85

I, as Spanish communist, can say that, at personal level and at this point in time, I for sure support the current regime against these Maidanites.
Just when Syria is about to be liberated from those proxy armies of takfiri terrorists is not preciselly the time to start a revolution in Iran.
Seeing what kind of clothes they are wearing these youngsters, the same Westernized fashion style of those in the Ukraine in 2014, I bet you that these are not for the liberation of the people and social justice.

Posted by: elsi | Dec 30 2017 23:38 utc | 86

@somebody | Dec 30, 2017 5:41:30 PM | 82

if Kurdish party are supporting this revolt, you can be sure that US and Israel are behind.

Posted by: elsi | Dec 30 2017 23:39 utc | 87

Confirmations that this is a "colour revolution" are arriving. Spanish imperial activist Leyla Nachawati, old known by Spanish left for her full time support for the "Syrian Rebels", has come in support of the revolts in Iran:

"Mrs.Nachawati, who has always defended the terrorists who have almost destroyed Syria and its sponsors, positions itself on Iran. Habemus new "Arab Spring" in march.

Posted by: elsi | Dec 30 2017 23:46 utc | 88

Dejà vu in Iran. While they burn state buildings like police stations, courts, town halls. 3 dead so far. In addition, jihadists linked to Ha'yat Tahrir al-Sham have flown an oil pipeline in the west of the country ... But those of always labeled it as peaceful protests.

Posted by: elsi | Dec 30 2017 23:48 utc | 89

Interesting thread...

Anyone discussing the protests in Iran and talking about "economic problems, rising prices" etc but making no mention of the hugely damaging impact of Western (primarily US) sanctions should be ignored.

Same goes for anyone who portrays even the suggestion of foreign involvement as some kind of absurd 'conspiracy theory' that should be completely dismissed.

The involvement of the CIA in covert activities in Iran is a well-established fact, and well beyond the coup of 1953. So anyone portraying even the possibility of a role of foreign intel. agencies in Iran currently as a kooky theory of 'anti-imperialists' is utterly disingenuous.

This is part of a broader phenomenon whereby the majority of academics, journalists, analaysts etc, act as if US imperialism (& the associated covert activities of its multiple intelligence agencies) only exist safely in the past, never, ever in the present.

Posted by: elsi | Dec 30 2017 23:54 utc | 90

Read what the feared Iranian SAVAK was: Iran's intelligence and security agency from 1957 to 1979 created by the Shah designed to torture and murder opposition communists.

Posted by: elsi | Dec 30 2017 23:58 utc | 91

"Down with (aka Death to) Rouhani"

Hmm ... I thought that this was a chant exclusively reserved for the Iranian desire to eradicate every American and Israeli and the justification for us to carry out a scorched earth, take no prisoners policy towards that country. Why are they using it towards their President and I even heard they said the same thing about the Ayatollah, and more importantly, why isn't Iranian security killing every last protester?

Surely, they must understand the full meaning of this phrase and how the person who utters this phrase must be ruthlessly destroyed.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Dec 31 2017 0:54 utc | 92

#39. From your own link

"Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia have been offered by both the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union to join their integration unions. All three countries opted for the European Union by signing association agreements on 21 March 2014.[102] However, break-away regions of Moldova (Transnistria),[103] Ukraine (Donetsk and Lugansk)[104] and Georgia (South Ossetia and Abkhazia)[105] have expressed a desire to join the Eurasian Customs Union and integrate into the Eurasian Economic Union.

Ukraine submitted an application to participate in the Eurasian Economic Union as an observer in August 2013.[106] Viktor Yanukovych's decision to abandon an association agreement with the European Union and exclusively pursue integration with the EEU was a key factor in the Euromaidan protests that ended his term as president of Ukraine and led to the Crimean Crisis. The country's membership in the EEU was seen by some analysts as the key to the success of the union as Ukraine has the second largest economy of any of the 15 former republics of the Soviet Union. With high tensions between Russia and Ukraine in the wake of the crisis, Ukraine decided to pursue integration with the EU.[107]"

Posted by: Pft | Dec 31 2017 0:59 utc | 93

@ 90/91 elsi - historical-context and the active attempts to openly destroy Iran by the U.S. and Israel is always erased in explaining any "internal" political conflict in Iran. It is a red-flag that the terror group MEK - which is now de-listed from the U.S. State Department's list of terror organizations - came out supporting this Perisan "Spring".

It is good that the Tuda party has a sensible position on this matter but after a history of shooting themselves in the foot and being outflanked by the Islamists' in the post-79 revolution - who in Iran is going to hold their breath.

It was only just a month or two ago that Hamid Kharzi - ISIS - U.S. - Tool - To - Destabilize - Region was spilling the beans on the U.S. role in bringing ISIS to Afghanistan and his objections to his country being used as a staging ground against neighboring countries.

The playbook is rather getting old.

Posted by: thirsty | Dec 31 2017 1:02 utc | 94

It seems that crowded counter-protests supporting the government have also taken place, but Western media will not inform us about that.
The Donald has not left going the opportunity to twitt in favour of the Iranian protests, "timely" along with its allied and payed activists in the West, but it seems that Iranian counterparts have already answered him:

Posted by: elsi | Dec 31 2017 1:07 utc | 95

Why are people protesting in Iran?
- a nice round up of the situation by Prof. Mohamed Mirandi

Posted by: thirsty | Dec 31 2017 1:17 utc | 96

Now that it is apparent that the yankee imperium and its acolytes are all in on a propaganda campaign based on the demonstrations, the demonstrators themselves become subject to the inference they are acting on behalf of foreign interests, that is, that the stench of treason permeates their efforts. This definitely limits their chances of any success. This is already indicated by the view taken, for example as mentioned in posts above by the TuDeh communist organisation. I don't see it being more than a tempest in a teapot. The Iranians are fully aware that such agitation is the Soros-yankee modus operandi of unrest aiming towards regime change. The examples of Syria and Libya tar participants in such actions with the stench of treason and limit their effectiveness, as already indicated by the fact counterdemonstrations are occurring.

Posted by: exiled off mainstreet | Dec 31 2017 1:22 utc | 97

A few flashbacks to 1953. Perhaps the US State Dept. has exhumed Kermit Roosevelt in order to toss around some $100 bills to the local disaffected Iranian twitterati:

CIA Confirms Role in 1953 Iran Coup: Documents Provide New Details on Mosaddeq Overthrow and Its Aftermath

National Security Archive Calls for Release of Remaining Classified Record

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 435

Washington, D.C., August 19, 2013 – Marking the sixtieth anniversary of the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, the National Security Archive is today posting recently declassified CIA documents on the United States' role in the controversial operation. American and British involvement in Mosaddeq's ouster has long been public knowledge, but today's posting includes what is believed to be the CIA's first formal acknowledgement that the agency helped to plan and execute the coup.

The explicit reference to the CIA's role appears in a copy of an internal history, The Battle for Iran, dating from the mid-1970s. The agency released a heavily excised version of the account in 1981 in response to an ACLU lawsuit, but it blacked out all references to TPAJAX, the code name for the U.S.-led operation. Those references appear in the latest release. Additional CIA materials posted today include working files from Kermit Roosevelt, the senior CIA officer on the ground in Iran during the coup. They provide new specifics as well as insights into the intelligence agency's actions before and after the operation.

Full Report Here:

Mohammad Mosaddeq and
the 1953 Coup in Iran

Edited by Mark J. Gasiorowski and Malcolm Byrne

New Volume Reexamines a Seminal Event
in Modern Middle Eastern History

And here back when Dem Now had at least a smattering of decent reporting:

We Take a Look at the 1953 US Backed Coup in Iran

Posted by: Allen | Dec 31 2017 1:34 utc | 98

Another internal theory that might or might not make sense.

Rouhani attacking vested interests demanding transparency in parliament on December 10, and those vested interests hitting back via "spontaneous, leaderless" demonstrations against Rouhani.

Just those demonstrations had no message control whatsoever. Trump's support, Kurdish parties and calls for the Shah surely finished any serious mouvement.

Incompetence of Saudi prince would be my bet.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 31 2017 1:47 utc | 99

One would thnk that these "color revolution" rent-a-mob protesters would come up with something original instead of following the same script that even a noob like me can recognise. How can their US masters be so careles and sloppy?

Posted by: Jen | Dec 31 2017 1:48 utc | 100

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