Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 02, 2018

Iran - Few Protests - Some Riots - U.S. Prepares The Next Phase

Updated below:

The riots and protests in Iran continue for a 6th day. While "western" media claim that the protests are growing I see no evidence for that in the various videos that appear online. The legitimate protests over price rises, failing private banks and against the new neoliberal austerity budget of President Rohani were hijacked early on by rioting gangs. These are obviously coordinated from the outside of the country through various internet applications, especially Telegram and Instagram:

Amad News, a channel on Telegram, appears to have played a pivotal role in the wave of protests. Reportedly administered by exiled journalist Rohollah Zam — a son of a senior Reformist cleric said to have escaped the country after being accused of having links with foreign intelligence agencies ...

Blocking the specific control channels proved to be insufficient:

Special software used to circumvent the government filters could still be downloaded easily. And on Monday, as on other days, there were calls for protests online and on foreign-based Persian-language satellite channels.

The blockage of the internet applications was lifted today.

The original protests over economic issues seem to have died down after President Rouhani confirmed the right to protest, conceded economic problems and promised to take them on. Indeed there are only few new videos of genuine protest marches but an avalanche of videos of rioting, arson and tussling with police forces. The size of the protests are in a few hundred people or less. Counter demonstrations, expressing loyalty for the republic (not noted in "western" media), are bigger in size than the anti-government protests. Since December 28 protests and riots have occurred in a total of 66 cities by now, but only about 30 have been taking place each night. This might point to some planning behind the events. A daily switching of venues might be intended to prevent police preparations.

The groups of rioters are between 30 and 80 people in size with a some bystanders milling around. They seem to follow a flash mob strategy appearing here and there and to vanish again when police appears in force. In some cities rioters attacked police stations, military posts and were even stealing firetrucks. Some of the rioters are evidently trying to get their hands on weapons.

Altogether only a few thousand people, overwhelmingly male youth, seem to be involved. Thousands protest in Israel each week against the corruption of Prime Minister Netanyahoo. On New-Years-Eve more than 1,000 cars in France were set alight by arsonists. None of this is front page news but a few dozen riots in Iran get elevated to a "revolution".

The total death toll of the "peaceful protests" is now some 21 of which (by my count) at least five were policemen killed in attacks by "protesters" and two unrelated civilians who were run over and killed by rioters driving a stolen firetruck. Six rioters were killed when they tried to attack a police station in the town of Qahderijan. The governor there claimed that the attackers were armed with guns.

The same faking of pictures of large demonstrations and "evidence" of government brutality that we have seen with regard to the war on Syria is taking place with Iran. Videos of demonstrations from Argentine and Bahrain are used to claim large demonstrations in Iran. A tweet with the Bahrain video by a "journalist" who claimed it was in Iran has received more than 17,000 re-tweets. Videos from Spain or even movie scenes are purported to show police violence in Iran. A video of a man lying on his back and being cared for is once claimed to show that he has been shot by police while at the same time another propagandists claims that the man had a cardiac arrest after police used a taser on him. There are no signs of wounds or other trauma. The dude probably just passed out.

The terrorist group MEK (NCRI, MKO) "leaked" fake protocols of an alleged government meeting which it claims shows panic over the protests. Allegedly the government fears the leader of the MEK, Marjam Rajavi. The MEK has paid large sums to get support from politicians, including John McCain in Washington and elsewhere. During the Iraq-Iran war it fought against Iran on the side of Iraq. After the U.S. invaded Iraq the MEK was held in special camps under U.S. control. According to a 2012 Seymour Hersh report the U.S. military trained MEK fighters in the U.S. in sabotage and insurgency technics. These people are deeply hated in Iran but feared they are not. Their early engagement in the "protests" via their website and propaganda ops in Iran may point to deeper role in the riots.

The usual neoconservatives in the U.S. media are arguing for "more help" for the "Iranian people". The help they want to offer is designed to worsen their economic situation.

I earlier argued that the larger plan of the instigators of these riots is not aimed at winning a violent "regime change" conflict, but at causing a reaction by the Iranian government which can then be used to press especially Europeans to again isolate Iran. This plan is now confirmed by an op-ed in the Washington Post. Michael Singh of the Zionist lobby in Washington writes:

If the regime resorts to violence anyway, the international response should focus on diplomatic isolation. European and Asian states should reduce their diplomatic ties with Iran and downgrade Iran’s participation in international forums. Sanctions may also have a role ...

Unsurprisingly the neoconned WaPo editors are fully in sync with the lobby:

European leaders, who have been far more cautious, should speak up. ... On Sunday [President Rohani of Iran] recognized that the demonstrators had legitimate grievances and nominally accepted their right to protest. The Trump administration and other Western governments should aim to hold him to those words through diplomacy and the threat of sanctions in the event of more bloodshed.

The rioting at the current level is in no way endangering the Iranian republic. Should some rioters acquire weapons the intensity might change a bit. But unless they receive material and personal support from the outside, like it happened in Syria, the situation will soon calm down. The people of Iran are against such violence and the government has yet to use its manifold capabilities.

I had documented in earlier posts that the Trump administration, in tight co-operations with Israel, long prepared for an intensification of a conflict with Iran. Half a year ago the CIA set up a special office with a high level Iran hawk leading the charge. Last month Trump named another Iran hawk to lead the State Department Middle East section.

Since the Iranian people successfully achieved "regime change" in 1979 the U.S. and Britain have had an adversarial policy against Iran. It has ebbed and flowed in intensity but never changed. Under Trump we will see a rapid increase of hostile actions. The administration just called for a UN emergency session about the situation. That is a laughable move when one considers the size of daily murder the U.S. and its allies commit in Yemen, Syria and Palestine. But the operation that unfolds now is likely just a small part of a larger anti-Iran strategy that has yet to become visible.

Update (Jan 3, 01:00am EST)

I just checked various internet resources for two hours to find new videos of protests/riots of January 2 to 3. There were just a handful and none of them was remarkable. Some short clips of loud screaming of small crowds and light bashing with riot police. The protests and riots are obviously dying down.

This map is by HRA_news a Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA). It says "There were protests in at least 11 cities in #Iran on the sixth day".


Eleven cities is less than half than the thirty cities with protests/riots that were counted yesterday.

Posted by b on January 2, 2018 at 19:15 UTC | Permalink

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With Yemen under reported and daily deaths of women and children - they want a UN meeting about Iran?
They are playing there regime change hand in a very heavy way.

Netanyahu made a speech, Trump, Hillary, McCain - IRan just needs to put these people on TV and let them broad cast to the nation!!

Social media also is being used to manipulate the uniformed - many of the many American alt/right commentators are in the vanguard of this anti Iran social media campaign.

We have the memes with women without hijab, we have all the usual tired guff about freedom and democracy. As if Iraq Syria and Lynda and Ukraine disasters never happened

Posted by: James | Jan 2 2018 19:44 utc | 1

"As if Iraq Syria and Lynda and Ukraine disasters never happened."

James, I'm married to Lynda. I suspect you meant Libya.

Posted by: spudski | Jan 2 2018 19:51 utc | 2

Russia and China need to make the UN meeting about US, UK and Israeli support of terrorism in Iran (MEK, et al.) Turn the tables.

Posted by: Blue Dot | Jan 2 2018 19:52 utc | 3

One astounding aspect of this "color revolution" is its banal and repetitive nature. The tactics used by the rent-a-mob protesters of hijacking and exploiting legitimate protests as cover to attack and kill police, and burn cars and buildings are the same as those carried out in Dar'aa in Syria in 2011 that led to the war there, and in Kiev in 2014 that led to the overthrow of the Yanukovych government. Not surprisingly, John McCain supported those events and visited the people involved on a number of occasions.

The sloppiness of the reporting is amazing as well. It's as if the MSM simply doesn't care any more that astute members of the public can see that material from past news reports or even movies is being used as "evidence" of supposed genuine protest or police repression.

The most worrying thing all these "cplor revolution" activities, wherever they occur, point to is how deeply insulated from the real world The Powers That (Should Not) Be are.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 2 2018 19:53 utc | 4

@b - was that a rogue blogger who had put up the first post? Hijacking a legitimate Greek name Αυτοκαθορισμός and put up some trash statement?

Posted by: Oui | Jan 2 2018 20:07 utc | 5

@2 apologies to your Lynda! I did indeed mean poor destroyed Libya

Posted by: James | Jan 2 2018 20:08 utc | 6

thanks b.. the western propaganda version of the syrian white helmets continues on with the latest dispatches from iran.. the usa-uk and some others are in no position to speak with any authenticity in any of it.. i like what you said here because it highlights the selectivity of the western press :

"Thousands protest in Israel each week against the corruption of Prime Minister Netanyahoo. On New-Years-Eve more than 1,000 cars in France were set alight by arsonists. None of this is front page news but a few dozen riots in Iran get elevated to a "revolution"."

it explains the role western msm is willing to play in accommodating this ongoing anti-iran agenda..

Posted by: james | Jan 2 2018 20:21 utc | 7

I'll put a few dollars on US air or missile strikes on Iran for 2018. Until now, Trump admin attacks on Iran have been verbal. Looks like whatever they have been cooking up for the past eleven months has now been set in motion.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 2 2018 20:26 utc | 8

b, exactly--"But the operation that unfolds now is likely just a small part of a larger anti-Iran strategy that has yet to become visible."

The CIA, US Military, UK and Israel have many operations ongoing against Iran.
This is a long-shot, these protests.

What is more likely is a 'civil war', like Syria, with 'moderates' armed and a flow of terrorists from Afghanistan into the East (where much of this uprising has occurred.)

The template is for a destabilizing of Iran and a nice four-six year war on the eastern front would be likely.

The airport at Herat is a base of operations for ISFA/NATO. The CENTCOM war of choice has been Afghanistan because everyone knows it is un-winnable, but "must" be fought. It creates huge issues for China and now Pakistan, too. So, using it to direct arms and trainers against Iran is predictable and relatively easy, logistically.

The Shia Crescent will be pounded at both ends--Lebanon-Syria and Iran's eastern region.

Part of the not yet visible.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jan 2 2018 20:28 utc | 9

I think it would be useful to analyze which news agencies, internet companies, browser providers and search engine providers are actively involved in the disinformation campaigns ..
are users dealing only with media providers, or does the disinformation involve the information transport technology providers as well?
If so that suggest this is a corporate war, not a nation state war?

Classification of information tampering by type:
information blocking campaign
disinformation promoting campaign

and assigning to each type the parties..
might produce some real useful data?
Nodes at nation state boundaries are either transparent or filtered.
Tracking nation state behaviors at these boundaries by media provider.
One instance of disinformation came to light in discussions over the weekend where in one country.. the same provider delivered three very different messages that covered the same event from the same media source.. one party said the client side browsers had key directives which determined which of the media stories about the same event to allow into the browswer.. So the webservers answering the get request would or could differentiate between users and decide which content a particular user is allowed to have. I have not been able to confirm this yet.

I think it is not the event, where ever the event takes place but what the viewer is informed about the event that counts..

Seems the disinformation filter system capable to advise different folks differently about the same events. HUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!
Explains maybe why when Iran had its Earthquake a few weeks back, the same news agency said the quake happened in three different Iranian towns, but it turned out the origin of the quake was in a Iraq town.

I am not sure the reporting variance is sloppy.. more I would say deceptive.

Posted by: fudmier | Jan 2 2018 20:30 utc | 10

The US has called a UNSC meeting. Watch Russia throw Iran under the bus at the UNSC, as it has done before and as it not long ago did to North Korea. Russia is a two faced vassal state to the hegemon. But go ahead and prove me wrong Vlad.

Posted by: paul | Jan 2 2018 20:58 utc | 11

If there were very large crowds, satellite imagery would be able to pick that up even with govt censorship. The lack of such verification is telling.

I'm not going to comment on the 'sociological' element, not qualified but I don't trust a word that's reported in my country regarding Iran.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Jan 2 2018 21:28 utc | 12

@11 paul.. you have been proven wrong every other time.. why should this time be an exception?

Posted by: james | Jan 2 2018 21:31 utc | 13

I haven't followed all the discussion so far, as I've been away for Xmas.

As the demonstrations are in the provinces, it means something much more serious than the 2009 demonstrations in Tehran. If it were US running it, this route would not have been chosen, indeed impossible, although they want to profit from opportunities.

The obvious reason is that the US failed to carry out its side of the nuclear agreement, and did not lift sanctions. So the economic recovery promised did not occur. And Iranians are understandably unhappy that what they expected did not happen. Disappointment of expectation is what led to revolt.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 2 2018 21:34 utc | 14

Thanks for the reporting b

I want to repeat one of your statements for emphasis
Altogether only a few thousand people, overwhelmingly male youth, seem to be involved. Thousands protest in Israel each week against the corruption of Prime Minister Netanyahoo. On New-Years-Eve more than 1,000 cars in France were set alight by arsonists. None of this is front page news but a few dozen riots in Iran get elevated to a "revolution".
This is the issue that needs to be brought up in the UN meeting.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 2 2018 21:50 utc | 15


While I'm equally disgusted by Russia's and China's imposing genocidal sanctions on North Korea, there are very good reasons to expect they won't have the same attitude toward Iran in the coming meeting of the UNSC.

1. Iran is not in violation of Security Council resolutions the way North Korea is with its nuclear and ballistic missile tests. On the contrary, US hostility and aggression toward Iran is in the context of perfect alignment with the JCPOA on the part of Iran while the United States grabs every opportunity to renege on its obligations.
2. Russia and China have massive geopolitical, energy and economic interests in Iran and deep, active strategic partnership with Iran, unlike the case of North Korea. Russian/Chinese investments run in the tens of billions of dollars, including in oil/gas extraction, pipelines and nuclear energy, and Iran is an essential node in the Belt and Road Initiative.
3. The current protests follow the exact same color revolution script successfully used in the Ukraine, Georgia, Libya, Syria etc., along with similar and inspired opposition protests in Russia and Hong Kong. Russia and China would destroy any credibility with regard to past and potential future events in Ukraine and Hong Kong if they follow the US line on Iran in the UNSC, and encourage the usage of the same tactics eventually in Russia and China themselves.

On a side note, does anyone know whether this UNSC meeting is now actually a given because of the US request, and if so when it is likely to be held?

Posted by: Eric | Jan 2 2018 21:54 utc | 16

As I've said before, if these western-sponsored (apparently) riots turn the Rouhani government less neoliberal it could end up all to the better for the people of Iran. The bloviating of the US and Israel will be hard to listen to but as long as it's just words Iran can take it.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Jan 2 2018 21:56 utc | 17

As I've said before, if these western-sponsored (apparently) riots turn the Rouhani government less neoliberal it could end up all to the better for the people of Iran.
Oh yeah. They're calling for the return of the Shah, = absolute dictator.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 2 2018 22:02 utc | 18

Some speculation: why economic discontent in Iran now?

Based on very few data points, I think that Iran may experience some "prosperity symptoms": during severe sanctions, Iran developed import substitution industries as foreign currency was scarce and rationed, and various industries were relatively well distributed over the territory of Iran. With more oil revenue imports are easier. On one hand, government may afford more for services like schools and healthcare, perhaps some social spending, priming the demand side of the economy, on the other, many parts of import substitution sector may experience drop in profits and even outright unprofitability, hence factories that do not pay workers.

If this is the case, the government has the resources to placate the working class protesters, and security apparatus will take care of the remainder. Hypersalivation in USA and Israel will energize "the base". However, there is a gap between having resources and using them, because importing and import-substitution sectors have interests that may be hard to reconcile.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 2 2018 22:03 utc | 19

Some speculation: why economic discontent in Iran now?
It's obvious, isn't it? The US agreed to lift sanctions in exchange for the nuclear agreement, but they didn't do what they agreed. Not surprising that the Iranians are unhappy.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 2 2018 22:18 utc | 20

i have met many iranian who where very happy and prosperous under the original 1913 anglo persian oil agreement contracts the shah indeed was along with menechem begin and golda meir one of the greats.
why not indeed help the innocents b free let domocracy prevails?
bp uk, dutch shell, france chevron and exxon really mobile good all help to stabilise iran supplies once persia is brookings and chatham house converted into libya 2.
please do not underestimate the value of open air slave trading.
with the closing off of the live human organ traffic flows from syria to turkey then onto tel aviv then haiti new markets need to be opened.
the simple fact was yemen and syria iraqi had way to much history.
iranian persia has to be year zero for the new bbc simon scharma ashkanazi revised history of the middle and near easts.
oded yinon moves on
history must be dustified for the official chabad kosher seal

Posted by: gnome chumski | Jan 2 2018 22:22 utc | 21

Rohollah Zam is a Mossad agent.
Leaked phone conversation:

Posted by: waterloo | Jan 2 2018 22:24 utc | 22

Lagueere @ 14, 20: Are Iranians in the countryside really all that concerned about US lifting sanctions against Iran over its nuclear energy program

Posted by: Jen | Jan 2 2018 22:29 utc | 23

@21 gnome / charles.. now that was funny!

Posted by: james | Jan 2 2018 22:30 utc | 24

@ Piotr Berman | Jan 2, 2018 5:03:31 PM | 19

Wrong! Yet you appear to be grossly misinformed.

A true is that the Gov. of both countries are bitter enemies from geo-political reasons as well as the historical one. However, when one look at economic policy of the Iranian Gov. he/she can see identical set of austerity measures, i.e. the same oppressive economic policies that benefit only and Just only ruling elites of both countries.

But more about that here:

Posted by: Partisan | Jan 2 2018 22:32 utc | 25

why not indeed help the innocents b free let domocracy prevails?
More hasbara. israel wouldn't like it if there were democracy in Iran, but confusion, that would be great.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 2 2018 22:33 utc | 26

re jen 23

Are Iranians in the countryside really all that concerned about US lifting sanctions against Iran over its nuclear energy program
They're affected by the US failure to lift sanctions. Access to the money market, for example.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 2 2018 22:50 utc | 27


a simple central bank
tired to the nazi swiss bank of international settling munts
compensation to the uk,usa and israel for the breach of contracts relating to anglo persian oil companies stolen oil and gas supplies over countless decades.

a gold ingot return aggreement
kinder transport style epic journey return of the gold from tehran to bis where it can be placed into bonded very safe uk,israel usa accounts for safe keeping.

during times of instability is it not better that chosen professionals look after vitals such treasure

Posted by: gnome chumski | Jan 2 2018 22:54 utc | 28

>>>> Laguerre | Jan 2, 2018 5:33:26 PM | 26

It's satire of a reasonable quality for once. Either that or "gnome" is dumber that Nikki Haley.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 2 2018 23:05 utc | 29

Zam the Iranian Chalabi.
Fake photos and American collusion and all.
An attempt at interfering in Irans Election.

Posted by: Jack | Jan 2 2018 23:12 utc | 30

Russia and China have not imposed genocide sanctions on NKR. NKR is well prepared. They can survive for a year or two in their stockpiles. The effect therefore of the current sanctions are in large part some distance into the future. China and Russia feeding a bit of blood to the vampire US whilst at the same time punching out gazillions of garlic spiked silver arrows seems like a reasonable economy to me. In effect Russia and China have agreed to meet the US on the field of battle about the time these sanctions actually do/would take devastating effect. They have said...ok have your year or so of tantrums...suck on that.

Posted by: gut bugs galore | Jan 2 2018 23:14 utc | 31

@26 laguerre.. that is our resident hasbara troll, but sometimes he is funny...

laguerre, i would be curious for your view on this outline from a twitter account that lozion left on another thread yesterday..

Posted by: james | Jan 2 2018 23:14 utc | 32

Based on a simple formula that is always used without fail, every act of munificence on US part assumes a major concession. Europe did not get a spine in Iran's case, as Obama gave a wink and a nod to his fellow globalist-Zionist oligarchy, to "pressure" US to sign a nuclear deal. The deal was cut with Rouhani, a known "reformer", who was to introduce neoliberal economy, and let US and Europe in. Did not happen. Instead, in response to the growing anti-Shia Saudi cult ISIS and others, Iran opted to support Iraq and Syria. US not happy. Rouhani not happy. Iran firmly tied now to Russia for defence and China for the long range development. US not happy to the extreme. We were thus toooo generous, so all the promises are off, one more Indian treaty. Like the Clinton one with North Korea.

So, do not count on Europe keeping its spine, as the ruling oligarchy/media scribes are the same. Slowly, "reluctantly" they will have to "pressure" Iran on human rights, etc. etc. Deal will be off. When it comes to US, the economic losses for us are potential great. Who knows what is happening to Boeing sales, etc. But this is peanuts compared to the salivating of Zionist crowd -- being able to get their Iranian agenda back on track!

But I need to think some of this through. It is getting murky out there. Why is South Korea running to Moscow, and declaring Russia a reliable negotiating partner. Why are both Russia and China ignoring many sanctions on North Korea? Why is Erdogan running to Riyadh, and then announcing the deal with Sudan on restoring an old port city, abandoned after Port Sudan was built. And using the port for military base. So close to Saudi city of Jeddah, across the hot Red Sea pond. Presumably, Saudis are unhappy. Presumably Egypt is unhappy. Presumably they -- like all inferior beings, in our view of the world -- do not talk to each other. So, many inconsistencies are afoot, many confusing and contradicting moves -- what does it all mean? For one, it may mean that US practices are linear and predictable, while the Asian and Mid East regions are opaque.

And Turkey becoming dependent on Russian air defence, nuclear energy, and oil and gas pipelines, as well as Chinese infrastructure, both physical and internet -- will not make moves without consulting them both. So, what is afoot? We do not know. But we do know that following Egypt's intervention, Qatar "conditions" were redefined as "principles, while the trade, and air traffic has increased from Qatar to Iran and Turkey. Given that Iraq has over 60% Shia population, Kuwait, 40%, Bahrain 80%, with large populations in Syria, Lebanon, and even Turkey. Almost entire North Yemen, is Shia. And the somewhat different religion of Oman, I would say, Oman is not too keen on letting Saudi Arabia spread Sunni caliphates. And given how US occasionally berates the new Crown Prince, while heaping regular abuse on his father, the King, I would say something is not quite kosher in this bromance. China opened a base in Djibouti. Egypt and Russia working on Libya mess. Pakistan put US on notice that it will shoot down any US flying object, as the days of drone attacks on Pakistan are over.

So, linear vs. opaque. I do not think we see or understand many other events, as they are not getting much coverage. We need to assume some asymmetrical events coming.

Posted by: Bianca | Jan 2 2018 23:21 utc | 33

Legit peaceful protests enjoined by violent rioters. We've heard this story before but I doubt the US will pull a fake no-fly on Iran the way Hillary/Obama did for Libya. Supporting the terrorists like the US did in Syria is probable and may be going on now. Good of you to point this out, b.

And in the list of articles Google News threw up was one that suggested Iran's govt is "teetering" on collapse. Doubtful. The govt/regime has too much power and support to collapse anytime soon.

Posted by: Curtis | Jan 2 2018 23:26 utc | 34

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 2, 2018 5:18:44 PM | 20

As I understand it Rouhani tried to cut subsidies or convert subsidies to charity for the poor. That would endanger the subsistence of a lot of people and be reason enough to demonstrate. It is also the type of neoliberal remedy investors love. On top of that Rouhani seems to have started an anti-corruption drive against his political enemies which usually creates trouble.
Iran also closed the border to Iraqi Kurdistan which interrupted all kinds of business transactions there. They have reopened the border in the last few days.

Iran needs neither US nor European investment as China has most of the money to spend, Trump is basically forcing Iran into economic dependence from China. He attacked Pakistan by tweet as well, so part of this marks the US losing Iran and Pakistan to China. How NATO can remain in Afghanistan or Iraq after this is anybody's guess. General Mattis might have a say in this.

In the end this "regime change light" might prove how impotent the US/Britain/Saudi have become to influence developments.

Everything in Iran seems to be done via Telegram messenger/Instagram including BBC Persian.

I can't see Iranian security asleep on how to control that. This here is from 2016.

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iranian hackers have compromised more than a dozen accounts on the Telegram instant messaging service and identified the phone numbers of 15 million Iranian users, the largest known breach of the encrypted communications system, cyber researchers told Reuters.

They will have discovered most networks by now.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 2 2018 23:42 utc | 35

I've yet to see anyone reference Ramin Mazaheri's excellent article written for The Saker blog. Fortunately, it's been mostly republished here so I can link it directly. Being an Iranian journalist posted to Paris, he provides a greatly needed balance to the many lies of Big Lie Media and educates those willing to read about the nature of Iran. I wanted to provide an excerpt, but the essay's structure makes that difficult, so I'll just leave this:

'A final point: Why are democratic protests for policy reform a “sign of a vibrant and healthy democracy” when they occur in the West…but “an indicator people want to bring down the system” whenever they occur in non-Western countries? Ultimately, these protests will be heeded and, like all genuine protests, will make Iranian democracy stronger and the country better.'

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 2 2018 23:43 utc | 36

About time for the snipers on the rooftops to show up. Then, it's on for real. With both sides taking causalities, and the Govt. getting the blame. Then, we'll see the position Russia takes.

Same old "color revolution" BS me thinks..

Posted by: ben | Jan 2 2018 23:47 utc | 37

More on the security of Telegram messenger

Why you should stop using Telegram just now

Posted by: somebody | Jan 2 2018 23:47 utc | 38

"What Is Happening in Iran? Is Another “Color Revolution” Underway?"

From Global Research:

Posted by: ben | Jan 2 2018 23:50 utc | 39

@37 indeed, « watch for snipers », but I dont think it will happen this time, Iranians are smart and the IRGC and Basij are on the watch no doubt. Rouhani will address some issues and while the internal struggle between hardliners and reformists for Khameini´s replacement will go on, this will hopefully fizzle out soon..

Posted by: Lozion | Jan 3 2018 0:04 utc | 40

Laguerre @ 27: I asked only because the news I have seen so far here at MoA and at The Duran is that the protesters were complaining about the increase in the prices of eggs and poultry. Some time ago there had been a bird flu epidemic in Iran which has affected the supply of chickens and eggs. It would seem very peculiar for ordinary people outside the main cities to demonstrate against continuing US sanctions against Iran due to Iran's continued nuclear energy program.

If demonstrations are taking place outside Tehran at the same time, that fact in itself could still be evidence of US infiltration. Mashhad in Iran's northeast is a large city (the second largest) and close to Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Borders could be quite porous for all we know.

There are many Western tourists visiting Iran now and the major tourist trails are in the south-central (Yazd, Isfahan, Shiraz) and south-west (Choqa Zanbil) parts of the country. Urban populations in these areas could have elements antagonistic towards the national government. Baha'i followers in particular would be hostile towards the government as theirs is a much persecuted religion. Sections of the US government would be aware of and targeting these groups because historically in most cultures, minority groups (and persecuted minority groups) are focii for social and political change. Plus such groups have diaspora populations in the US and beyond and communications among the homeland and the diaspora most certainly would be monitored closely by US intel agencies.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 3 2018 0:13 utc | 41

I suspect a few of those young men are protesting the absence of bars and discotheques.

Posted by: dh | Jan 3 2018 0:22 utc | 42

Posted by: ben | Jan 2, 2018 6:47:17 PM | 37

The interesting thing is that this time violence is not the issue. The EU calls for "all sides to refrain from violence". Trump threatens that "the US is watching".

Iran has been fighting PJAK, Jundullah and MEK for quite a while. It is unlikely there will be any surprises.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 3 2018 0:50 utc | 43

To demonstrate how informed Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch is, the Angry Arab tweeted this. Rephrasing the Angry Arab, I can't for the life of me understand why Kenneth Roth subsequently deleted his tweet.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 3 2018 1:01 utc | 44

I hope all the folks that think no real violence will occur are right. My thought process is a bit jaded because of the empire's sordid history of regime change..

Posted by: ben | Jan 3 2018 1:16 utc | 45

@36 karlof1

I posted Mazaheri's article on an earlier thread - glad you supplied the Greanville link for it. I have really enjoyed Mazaheri's writing over the last several months at Saker. And this is an excellent view of the grass roots heart of Iran I think. His article rambles a bit, he broke his vacation to write it in a hurry, but he made his points.

Reviewing the snippet I excerpted I still like it so I'll reprint it here:

Exactly like in Venezuela this year – there is a hardcore, GRASSROOTS system of citizen supporters who will defend the Iranian Revolution with their lives…because they feel the Iranian Revolution (like Chavismo) has benefited the average citizen so very much. That’s why Venezuelan democracy didn’t fall – it was due to the common person attending a counter-protest, maybe even wielding a garden tool. This is what preserved Venezuelan democracy – not state military action – and this is also what happened in Iran in 2009.


What must also be remembered is that Iran already had their “NATO intervention” – it was called the Iran-Iraq War. For 8 horrible years the West foisted Iraq on Iran, supplied Iraq with weapons, turned a blind eye to the worst chemical weapons atrocities since World War One, and did all they could to create, prolong and influence the deadliest war in the last quarter of the 20th century.

And it was still not enough.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 3 2018 1:32 utc | 46

Afghan on one side with US/ISIS coalition, Iraq Kurd/US border other side. US have been flying ISIS into Afghanistan (a number of reports some months ago with even official Russia questioning who the US was flying into ISIS controlled areas).
US airlifting ISIS out of west Syria to Hasaka for retraining, perhaps as peaceful Iranian demonstrators, from where they have free movement through to the Kurd majority area of the Iraq/Iran border.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 3 2018 1:32 utc | 47

I gather about 450 protesters have been arrested so far. They are predominantly under 25 years old. I believe the government will be tough on them. Their story will emerge eventually. Perhaps there will be documented smoking guns. The forensic study of these events will obviously take time but it's clear that Iran never for one moment misunderstood what was happening to it. Ayatollah Khamenei has called it out as a foreign intervention by the usual countries.

The dynamic seems practically like a de-escalation zone now: the government has affirmed the right to protest, and condemned the act of violence. So that's how the authorities will tell the innocent from the guilty.

As b states, everything has been handled by the police thus far. The government's "manifold capabilities" have yet to become visible. They will become visible, one assumes, at every turn as the anglo-zionists attempt to escalate, and as each move is met and destroyed by the authentic national power.

In all, while it is sad to see the destruction and the dead innocents, including those yet to come, it will be supremely satisfying to watch as Iran - I predict - shows the world exactly how to deal with this attack by the west.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 3 2018 1:40 utc | 48

@44 Ghost Ship, that was sarcasm right? Look again at the protesters signs, oh the irony..

Posted by: Lozion | Jan 3 2018 1:43 utc | 49

Good piece. The only thing I would add is that the genuine protesters (to the extent that they exist) who are unhappy about the sluggish Iranian economy are a result of the economic sanctions the US placed on Iran. Making life hard for ordinary people is intended to stir up anti-government sentiment among them.

Trump's tweets about his "concern" for the Iranian people and "human rights" are particularly hypocritical and vile. What a piece of shit. Apparently he didn't see the leaked memo that reveals how Rex Tillerson, who may have been naive enough to believe the guff about the US upholding human rights abroad, was put in his place in no uncertain terms by the DoS.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Jan 3 2018 1:49 utc | 50

Iran has been working on border security for a long time

Posted by: somebody | Jan 3 2018 2:02 utc | 51

Sharmine Narwani tweeted a response to anglo-zionist media hack Josh Rogin's drivel about how Syria started the same way as Iran, when "...peaceful protesters were attacked by their tyrannical government."

She replied:

"Peaceful protestors" in #Syria were not so peaceful. They killed 88 soldiers in the first month

In her tweet she links to her own important article, a seminal work that details exactly how the color uprising in Syria began, and once again how it was the violence that surprised everyone: Syria: The Hidden Massacre

If you haven't read it, I earnestly recommend it for a clear and exact picture of what is being ventured in Iran right now.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 3 2018 2:05 utc | 52

@ somebody
I hope they do have their borders covered, but I believe in the Kurdish area, the border will be somewhat porous, plus re-uniformed/re-named ISIS from all directions will have the assistance of US intel.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 3 2018 2:39 utc | 53

The more I look at the Trump/US establishment fight in the US, the more this seems a fight over a re-direction of the empire than anything else. Obama's soft talk/lead from behind/snake in the grass style failed miserably. Trumps job is to turn the US focus from Russia Syria ect onto China whos economy is the main threat facing the empire, and Iran which is the strong point in the resistance against Israel.
Seems to be a lot of cold war warriors still in the US establishment wanting to re-live their glory days, plus generations of soviet block/east European so called dissidents carrying inherited hate for Russia that have to be overcome for US to fully focus on the new direction.
Early on in the Trump admin, there were a number of meetings between Trump/Kissinger and Putin/Kissinger. Apart from Trump perhaps carrying no grudge against Russia, the re-direction would require separating Russia from the target countries, China and Iran.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 3 2018 2:53 utc | 54

Grieved @ 48: First, the govt should ask the protesters if they're being paid to protest and who's paying them.

As they say, follow the money...

Posted by: Jen | Jan 3 2018 3:09 utc | 55

@22 Yes would be very interesting to know more about this Rohollah Zambia whose new telegram channel Sedaie Mardom of more than 1.2 M user now (and main cause behind Telegram filtrage).... Is really suspect. Just have a look on whatis posted inside and you will understand a lot.
Is there an English translation of your video?

Posted by: fefe | Jan 3 2018 3:13 utc | 56

Just a few thoughts:

Is there a chance that those other, rather impotent members of the UNSC call in an emergency meeting about the number of innocent young unarmed African American being shot with impunity by 'law' enforcement?
Will there be a session about the rampant homeless in the U.S.? About the mass incarcerations? About the use of prison inmates in the California wild fires without protective gear? About the opiod pandemic? About the treatment of innocent protesters in Dakota and elsewhere?
The propaganda emanating from air waves is unbearable to those with both common sense and critical thinking skills.
This is psychological projection par excellence. The preposterous displays of Haley speaking for the U.S. surpasses what goes for "the pot calling the kettle black".
IF the protests in Iran would have anything to do with legitimate calls for redress, what does that say about the U.S. population? Compared to the shortcomings in Iran, the present conditions in the U.S. should be sufficient to get tens of millions of people into the streets.
Why is that not happening? National Billionaires' Radio bemoans conditions in Iran that are are worse in the U.S. These script readers ask for money for their "high quality" journalism?
Is all this just acid satire? Bill Maher talking about getting a phone call from the corrupt Nutanyahoo asking for advice in regards to the regime change plans regarding Iran?

Are we there yet?

Posted by: nottheonly1 | Jan 3 2018 3:20 utc | 57

Hmmm... protest here in the USSA can be just as violent and destructive. Wish the international community would sanction this growing police state. But then again, I foresee the US imploding economically soon so it'll be a moot point once the zombie tax livestock see all they know evaporate. Nature abhors that which is contrary to Itself and eventually corrects.

Posted by: Dwayne Weyrich | Jan 3 2018 3:36 utc | 58

I watched similar scenarios in Syria and Libya in early 2011. In Syria, the government arrested some teenagers in Da'ar for writing anti-government graffiti. The parents and others protested the arrests. Some who joined the protests began shooting from within the crowd of parents and others at police, killing 7. Some police shot back and the Western Media reported that Assad was killing his own people. In Libya, some gangs tried to storm army barracks. The soldiers defended. themselves and the same media said Qaddafi was killing his own people. I hope we have learned from these examples and from Iran in 2009. The situation is serious and will require great strength and wisdom on the side of the Iran government and the great mass of Iranian people, but I do not expect Iran to become another Libya.

Posted by: jrh | Jan 3 2018 5:46 utc | 59

@33 Bianca - "Pakistan put US on notice that it will shoot down any US flying object, as the days of drone attacks on Pakistan are over. "

Here's a fun tweet from Brasco Aad, who has been reliable on Syria, but this story is not sourced anywhere, so it may be no more than fun:

Question: Why is #Trump so angry at #Pakistan and why did he cut of financial support to Islamabad?

Answer: Pakistan refused to let #US (#CIA)/#Israeli/#Saudi-backed Salafi Jihadi terrorists stage terror attacks on #Iran from its territory

Sourced or not, it fits the current reality. The multi polar world steps daily more clearly into focus.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 3 2018 5:53 utc | 60

Partisan @25, that was an interesting link. Do you think that Rohani & his "moderates" have sold out, then? Should we expect to see their govt-owned central bank become an "independent" bank? That is, a bank that's joined the international cabal & is insulated from its own govt or the needs of its own people.

Since Rohani has moved TOWARD the globalists in trade & monetary ("austerity") policy, you wdn't expect Western-induced protests. Maybe it's pressure to make him move faster.

Posted by: Penelope | Jan 3 2018 6:08 utc | 61

Grieved @60 et al--

Thanks much for your comments, links and excerpts. What we are witnessing is how The Outlaw US Empire manifests Terror through its stated policy of establishing full spectrum dominance of the planet and its people--virtually everyone is targeted, yet most remain ignorant of that which threatens them most.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 3 2018 6:32 utc | 62

@60 Grieved, are you familiar with Lebanese professor Amal Saad? Here she links to translated video excerpts from protesters and their demands a la vox populi.

Posted by: Lozion | Jan 3 2018 6:34 utc | 63

@49 lozion.. definitely sarcasm on ghost ships part.. kenneth roth is an idiot... i don't know if he even looked at the pic, which would explain how some folks tweet first and think later..

and after a week or more off, the usa daily press briefing was on tap today right on cue... read the link here for more info.. i have quoted some of it below..

amazing how important social media is to the usa! more important then removing any of the financial sanctions that cause hardship.. hey - who cares about eating? but, one must not have their social media removed!

"QUESTION: When you say that you’re watching it very closely, monitoring, as everyone knows quite well, the U.S. doesn’t have an embassy in Iran, it doesn’t have any – at least no publicly known presence there. So how exactly are you following the situation? News, social media?

MS NAUERT: Well, Matt, this would go back to how we watch many nations when things are going on, especially when we don’t have a presence there. We get our information from a variety of sources. Some of that can come from NGOs. Some of that can come from media reports. Obviously, that’s a little more difficult right now because the government has clapped – clamped down not only on media but, as we’ve seen, social media too. We expect and we certainly hope that people will be able to access social media and speak freely there, just like we’ve seen them speak on the streets.

QUESTION: Right. Last --

MS NAUERT: So we’ll get that from a variety of sources. Some of that will include intelligence, our partners on the ground, and many other nations as well.

QUESTION: Last one. So you are, in fact, calling on the Government of Iran to restore any social media that has been – that may have been blocked?

MS NAUERT: Well, I think that would certainly be an important thing for them to do. We support a freedom of the press here in the United States. We support the right of voices to be heard. And when a nation clamps down on social media or websites or Google or news sites, we ask the question, “What are you afraid of?” What are you afraid of? We support the Iranian people and we support their voices being heard.

QUESTION: And are you considering sanctions?

MS NAUERT: We don’t get ahead of sanctions, but that is one toolkit, a couple things that we have in a very broad and wide toolkit. It’s – there are a range of options that we certainly have going forward. And that’s why I say we are watching reports very carefully of any potential human rights abuses of these protesters who are protesting peacefully.

Okay. Hi, Andrea. Nice to see you.

QUESTION: Hi, Happy New Year to you.

MS NAUERT: Thank you.

QUESTION: Is there – first of all, is there anything that the U.S. can do to help restore access to social media to the Iranian people?

MS NAUERT: Not that I’m aware of. I mean look, I’m not a tech expert. There are lots of ways that people can get information through different sources and different apps and all of that, but I’m not aware of anything particularly that we as a government are able to do. But we’re watching it carefully." what bullshite..

Posted by: james | Jan 3 2018 6:56 utc | 64

like social media is the great revolution tool when in fact it's the great manipulative tool which nsa monitors 24/7 thanks the police state the usa has become..

Posted by: james | Jan 3 2018 6:59 utc | 65

Im an avid reader of MOA, ZeroHedge etc... and a strong supporter of movement towards a multi polar world and agree with much of what the axis of resistance stands for, but as a young Iranian Im very disappointed in this analysis and the following comments, perhaps this is understandable though since non of you guys seem to be aware of the extent of oppression and hypocrisy that exists in Iran under the Islamic republic.
So here I will try to give a narrative of why these protests are happening as a voice (out of many) for the Iranian youth,

What is happening these days in Iran doesnt resemble a color revolution to me as much as it does the constitutional revolution of 1906-1909 (;
for more than a 100 years we have called for Freedom, Independence and independent judiciary, and what have we got?

A state which has crafted its own upper class clerical and related oligarchy that openly claim majority of the resources and sole right of final decision making for themselves,
A state whose own president admitted 2 days ago that he has no control over 200,000 Billion Tumans of its budget out of a total budget of 360,000 Billion Tumans, due to special interest groups that he can not challenge,
A state in which "Centre for supporting clerical students" receives about $200 million a year while the whole of the very earthquake prone country's emergency services receive $50 million a year,
A state in which the office of the representative of the supreme leader in universities receive more than $40 million a year while fund for helping university students with financial difficulty receives less than $10 million a year,

Over a hundred years ago our forefathers marched in the streets asking for an independent judiciary and what have we got?

An openly political judiciary whose head is an anoitee of the unelected supreme leader and whose former head (Mr.Shahroudi) called it a ruin,
A Judiciary which doesnt even reject that its current head has 63 personal bank accounts in his own name and receives over $7 million a month of interest from those accounts (because of "certain considerations") while his own deputy and head of prison services admits that the prisons dont have the budget to feed prisoners 3 times a day.
A Judiciary where the Head openly interferes with domestic and international politics of the country and even goes as far as personally ordering the cancellation governmentally approved concerts by Shiite ISIS while rejecting to even consider corruption cases againstg his brothers with video proof.

My dear Multi polar world supporters, we are rebelling because we are oppressed, for too long we've been oppressed economically, Politically and socially,
We are sick and tired of the IR's Hypocrisy,
we are sick and tired of seeing our troops and wealth fighting and dying in Syria, yemen etc (rightly in my opinion) in defense Alevites and Houthis and other groups while if in Iran these same groups would have been badly prosecuted as proved by the IR's treatment of the Yaresan, Ahl el Haq and various sufi and dervish denominations in Iran,
We are sick and tired of our troops fighting and dying in Syria, for President Assad and Putin to say cheers in Sochi, while we would be lashed for the same cup of wine.
We are sick and tired of seeing our beloved religion hijacked by a few and used as a tool of oppression with the sole purpose of enriching a few.

The children of Sattarkhan,Sardar Assad Bakhtiari and Sepahsalar Tonekaboni have risen in the 4 corners of Iran against a clerical oligarchy that sucks the blood of the country dry, a clerical establishment that has amassed in 40 years an amount of wealth comparable to the Catholic church while our beloved Iran is going trough environmental and social disaster.

I have no doubt the enemies of Iran (US, Israel, saudi or other) will do their best to use these protests in their favor, but to call whats happening a color revolution is not only closing your eyes towards all the legitimate demands of the people protesting, but also bringing into question the sole achievement that IR has been claiming these past few years domestically as the providers of national security for Iran. If IR has failed to stop foreign infiltrators to cause unrest in 20+ of the small towns that are protesting all around Iran today, as well as failing Iran, economically, socially and politically, Isnt it the peoples right to call for a referendum that gives them a way out of this broken, corrupt system?

If you dont want this to turn into a color revolution then dont let it become one, dont let the vulture's of the uni polar world to dominate the dialogue about the events in Iran, heed people's legitimate concerns and ask your Governments (specially Brics countries) to engage IR and convince it of holding a referendum under international(specially brics) supervision, this way the one can ensure which ever side wins in this referendum will see Brics as partners not enemies, and after all if IR is as popular as you claim it to be, it shouldn't have any fears of getting a second stamp of approval from the Iranian people 40 years on by holding a referendum.
Thank you for reading through my long comment, I hope you found it useful;
MOA if you believe in freedom of expression Tag-post this comment as a rebuttal to your analysis.

Posted by: ArioBarzan | Jan 3 2018 7:12 utc | 66

Attention to the videos on the net, many of which are false... western propaganda against Iran.

Posted by: Ariane Grazioli | Jan 3 2018 7:15 utc | 67

ariobarzan - there was another poster recently on another thread called ninel.. your post reminds me of theirs..

"but to call whats happening a color revolution is not only closing your eyes towards all the legitimate demands of the people protesting".. no actually.. it is not... the 2 go together like butter and jam.. you can't have the one without the other..

"MOA if you believe in freedom of expression Tag-post this comment as a rebuttal to your analysis." that isn't the way it works in the free world.. you can start your own website though..

Posted by: james | Jan 3 2018 7:25 utc | 68

@ ArioBarzan
Very few countries have managed to stand against the US empire. China and Russia are powers in their own right who cannot be attacked by the US without the US being destroyed itself.
Of the smaller countries, it is only those with ideological or religious fanaticism that have stood against the US empire. Makes it a really shitty world. It is Iran's (or a good section of Iran) religious fanaticism that has enabled it to kick the US out and stand against them. It would be much better if the world did not have to function in this way.
Perhaps in the coming multi-polar world..

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 3 2018 7:57 utc | 69

to add to 69

There will be opposition to both religious authority, and economic problems (economic problems brought on by us Sanctions), same as any country. US empire will identify this, use this, insert a few provocateurs, snipers, fake media ect.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 3 2018 8:52 utc | 70

Peter AU 1 @54:

It's unlikely that there will be another Sino-Russian split. Both Beijing and Moscow will be polite and listen to what Washington has to say, but they'll ignore them. I agree that Trump is trying to shift focus away from Russia and towards China and Iran. IMO, the problem for Washington is that they can only go after one, China or Iran. It's anybody guess on who will win in the fight between the Zionists and Nationalists.

Posted by: Ian | Jan 3 2018 9:01 utc | 71

Iran is not Syria. Iran is not an arab country.It appears that the US do not understand this fact. They further do not understand that the Iran - Iraq war, while horribly stunting development of Iran, cemented the idea of a national belonging and national spirit, regardless of religious issues. That was never present in Syria.
Israel on the other hand, however vile it acts, clearly understands these facts, and indeed did cooperate with the Islamic state in the beginning. But Israel fears Iran, because Iran is the only state in the region that is in earnest capable of opposing Israels ambitions. Iran as such , imo, has only the ambition of countering the Wahabis, not Sunni or any other religion. Other religions are absolutely tolerated in Iran, although proselyting is frowned upon. Try proselyting in SA! Head goes off!
I doubt that the subversion of the protests will work at all.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jan 3 2018 9:03 utc | 72

This talk about China - Russia splits, Russia throwing Syria, Iran, Turkey under the bus, are wet dreams of our own Western press. Sensational journalism, when worst. The case of NK is much different as NK in fact is in breach of UN conventions and agreements. But as we have seen sanctions can be broken readily. The US itself is a master of disregarding international Law, the UN and any agreement that they suddenly feel inhibit their aspirations.
The Silk road is all too important for all involved, including the EU. EU is already heavily engaged in Iran, with Iranians welcoming it. The EU sees the Silk Road as tremendous opportunity for developing new markets in the world.
And please dont forget the EU is supremely the worlds largest economic power. Having good trade relations with the EU is far, far more important than with the US.
The US is a has been. Spent, it industries off shored, like Britain, done by corporations only driven by greed.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jan 3 2018 9:15 utc | 73

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 3, 2018 2:57:32 AM | 69

Vietnam did, Cuba did. Both countries are now keen on economic relations with the US. To see the world as with / against the US is a strange prism. Both - China and Russia - cooperate and have cooperated with the US in lots of ways.

It makes more sense to analyze what is going on as a fight over who secures/controls trade routes, who takes or pays levy. History has not progressed much from the Middle Ages. Religion/ideology is used to cover warfare and crime on all sides.

The New York Times now has proclaimed the Iranian "revolution" as internal economic conflict, whilst Iran presumably has prove of what has been going on. This here is the Washington Post:

The Latest: No Schedule yet for US sought UN meeting in Iran

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani says an exiled opposition group is inciting violence in Iran, where anti-government protests have been held in a number of cities in recent days.

In a phone call with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, Rouhani called on France to stop hosting the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq group, known as the MEK. Several of the group’s leaders are based in Paris.

I have full sympathy with most Iranian emigrants but they are irrelevant for what is going on in Iran. There are now official demonstrations in support of the Iranian government and they are massive. Yes people are probably bussed in government employees but there seem a lot of them and all they needed to do to protest would be simply not to go.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 3 2018 9:34 utc | 74

@ Ian, I agree that another Sino/Russian split is unlikely. Highly unlikely.
China or Iran is interesting. Will keep an eye on that. Perhaps Iran first then China is the plan?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 3 2018 10:00 utc | 75

Wait a minute here! I am supposed to actually worry about protests in Iran? Really? Not one of my protests in the USSA has been news.

What a freaking load!

Posted by: blues | Jan 3 2018 10:13 utc | 76

@74 -- "There are now official demonstrations in support of the Iranian government and they are massive."

All likely part of a 'Reality TV' strategy. Controlled opposition and opportunism to distract and misdirect the MSM narrative and even draw out the 'official' response from the Swamp.

No doubt vectors are moving and assets positioning in respect to Iran and NK. However, Trump's comic 'art of bullying' is a dangerous clown gambit with Netanyahu behind him pushing.

True, in 2018 "something must be done" to save the US economy (and indeed, Assad just won't go...), but starting WW3 and/or losing huge amounts of 'face' are likely even worse scenarios for most players.

I suspect Persia's long history provides many case studies and opportunities to slice the diplomatic 'polony' as thin as it gets.

Trump's getting frustrated with international affairs and he now appears to have the Clinton gang in his sights. So, perhaps we should expect more US domestic orientated scenes in the 2018 reality-tv circus?

Posted by: x | Jan 3 2018 10:25 utc | 77

Methinks that ArioBarzan @ 66 has revealed his/her trolling nature by claiming that Iranians are sick and tired of seeing their troops fighting ISIS in Syria and assisting the Houthis in Yemen: for suggesting that foreigners should pressure the Iranian government to hold a referendum in which Iranians can vote for the government of their choice (and if in that referendum most Iranians choose the devil they know over the devil they don't know, ArioBarzan is going to have a lot of egg on his/her face); and for demanding that MoA privilege his/her comment above everyone else's.

Never mind that assisting Syria in its war against ISIS and its foreign supporters is in Iran's interests as well; that there is as yet no evidence of Iranian assistance to the Houthis, what with Saudi Arabia enforcing a blockade of Yemen; and that there are extremely few if any Alevis in Yemen (but plenty in Turkey).

Posted by: Jen | Jan 3 2018 10:57 utc | 78

Peter AU 1 @75:

The AAZ Empire have enough life left for one more military adventurism.   There isn't any viable way to take on China without risking an exchange of nukes where the best case scenario is the loss of an ally, South Korea (because they'd be all dead).   Invade Taiwan?   That'll piss off the Chinese on both the mainland and among the diaspora. Thus, inviting a security nightmare, unless he brings back internment camps which will bring about another nightmare.   The PLA would invade and fight the US which will turn Taiwan into another Syria.   I highly doubt Taipei would want such devastation.   Japan stated that they'll come to the aid of Taipei but then Beijing would green light an attack from North Korea and you can kiss those nuclear power plants goodbye.   No American would be motivated to fight in East Asia due to a lack of cultural connectivity.   The best Trump can do against China is wage an economic war.

My money is on Iran because of the Israeli-Saudi lobbyists which have infiltrated every aspect of US life.   People like Sheldon Adelson and the Evangelical Christians, would make Trump's life a living hell if Israel's core interest is sacrificed.   Trump have no choice.

Posted by: Ian | Jan 3 2018 11:01 utc | 79

@ ArioBarzan aka zio-Lenin from previous thread. Go away with your trolling and shilling for shekels. Their point of view just happen to be inline with US, Israel and MEK, what a coincidence! :)

Considering how much zionists invests in mass and social media, its quite surprising they send just one or two guys to derail threads here, it must be they dont consider MoA that popular... Their mistake.

Posted by: Harry | Jan 3 2018 11:08 utc | 80

Me thinks Jen is an uninformed person who doesnt know what is he/she talking about and only engages in name calling without actually answering any of the points I made,
I clearly stated that I support Iranian involvement in both Syria and Yemen ( to what ever extent it exists or used to exist) exactly because I think its in Iran's as well as the former countries interest,
what I hate is the double standard of the Islamic republic in supporting these groups externally while oppressing very similar faiths and denominations internally.
Also yes there is no Alevis in Yemen and actually not many in Syria the one's in Syria are called Alawites and the houthi's in Yemen are Zaidi Shias, to see how any of these groups would have been treated if they had been in Iran just look at the Islamic republic's treatment of any non twelver denomination,

Posted by: ArioBarzan | Jan 3 2018 11:14 utc | 81

Again, humble apologies to b for my having believed that the Q "Storm" phenomenon was Trump fighting the deep state starting with the purge in S.A. Apparently the Iran regime change nonsense is his "Storm".

Posted by: B Logical | Jan 3 2018 11:17 utc | 82

Fellow Iranian here. I can not agree at least with half of what @Ariobarzan is talking about. To me it seems he just want to highlight the points that is important for him or his opposition! yet forgets to mentions where is the source of all these issues and corruptions !
But hey my 2cents, do you know what was/is the difference between Iran under Pahlavi and nowadays Iran? both of them are same shit, dictatorship in different ways! the only difference was under Pahlavi there was no sanctions! there was no demonising, Iran was part of hegemony! Now its not, so it has to pay for being against it and not part of it!

Posted by: BB8 | Jan 3 2018 11:28 utc | 83

Posted by: BB8 | Jan 3, 2018 6:28:32 AM | 83

I guess Iran would have (had) to pay either way - being part of hegemony or being against it. Look at Pakistan - which used to be part of hegemony. Or look at Turkey - which used to be part of hegemony.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 3 2018 11:45 utc | 84

Can you please tell me which points dont you agree with,
also im not sure if I understand you correctly but are you claiming that the reason for internal corruption and oppression pointed out is the sanctions and demonising ?
Not that I agree with sanctions and demonisation, not only they cause many problems for the Iranian people but also they are used as a tool by the regime to justify the internal oppression,
As we say in Iran we are stuck between چکش و سندان or the rock and a hard place in english.

Posted by: ArioBarzan | Jan 3 2018 11:47 utc | 85

As I said I did no agree with what you said earlier just because I can easily smell "Saltanat Talab" out of it! Using words like Shiite ISIS, like seriously? or mentioning someone like Sepahsalar Tonekaboni can clearly show from what opposition you are talking!

I do however agree with the fact the we should be allowed to protest and ask for changing ask for reforming but don't fool yourself for a moment if you think any change in Iran will lead to transferring power to peoples hand. Though I think you know changing regime in Iran will transfer power to whom.

And if you want to know more how I do not agree with you just read @Jen @Ian @harry @Peter AU 1's posts and the others, I do agree with them!

Posted by: BB8 | Jan 3 2018 12:17 utc | 86

Anyway, the Islamist revolution seems to be over: It is back to nationalism now.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 3 2018 12:31 utc | 87

Perhaps let the Iranian people solve their own problems without outside interference ... has this ever tried before? Not in my lifetime.

State and Tribes in Persia 1919-1925 [pdf]

A case study On Political Role of the Great Tribes in Southern Persia

See also the Anglo-Persian Agreement 1919. This lasted just a few years until the coup d’état of Persian Cossacks in February 1921. The British fought in Mesopotamia as Churchill realized the importance of oil for the Empire and naval warfare. Are the oil and gas fields a curse or a blessing?

Posted by: Oui | Jan 3 2018 12:32 utc | 88

add to 87
Link is meant to go to the images of this tweet

Posted by: somebody | Jan 3 2018 12:34 utc | 89

@BB8 86
Again the name calling ! Im not "Saltant Talab" or monarchist and I only mentioned SepahSalar Tonekaboni within the context of the Constitutional revolution and also mentioned Sardar Assad Bakhtiari who was murdered by the monarchy later on,
Im sure if I was a Monarchist and wanted to come up with an example I could have came up with someone much more recent than Tonekaboni...
Anyways whether Im a monarchist or not shouldn't even matter; Attacking the messenger rather than the message is clear logical fallacy, Answer the points I have made non of the people you mentioned (besides @peter au to some extent) has even engaged with what ive said,
Dont attack me based on who you assume I am, You dont know who am I and I dont know who you are,
yes I do refer to the " Gorooh Feshars " and the Mesbah types as Shia ISIS, Not all of the Iranian Regime.

Posted by: ArioBarzan | Jan 3 2018 12:40 utc | 90

This French - Iranian phone call must have been awkward and there are different versions.

On the sixth day of protests that have cost 21 lives, according to official figures, Macron told Rouhani that he was worried about the number of victims and insisted that "fundamental liberties, especially freedom of expression and demonstration, must be respected".

He called on Rouhani to exercise "restraint and appeasement".
Iranian state television reported that Rouhani called on Macron to take action against the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), an exiled opposition group that is currently based in Auvers-sur-Oise, north of Paris.

The Iranian government describes the organisation as a "terrorist group" and it was on the European Union's terrorist list until 2009.

Tehran claims that it has stirred up the current demonstrations on the orders of Saudi Arabia and "certain European countries".
French companies have increased trade with Iran since the lifting of sanctions over its nuclear programme, although US President Donald Trump has threatened to pull out of the deal.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 3 2018 12:45 utc | 91

As expected this new so called revolution was faded out quick. US, Israel, Saudi and their lackeys Monarchist & MKO …. failed again.
This was not the first nor the last violent attempt but they will fail every time against IRI.

Posted by: Loyal | Jan 3 2018 13:03 utc | 92

Laguerre wrote: "As I understand it Rouhani tried to cut subsidies or convert subsidies to charity for the poor. That would endanger the subsistence of a lot of people and be reason enough to demonstrate. It is also the type of neoliberal remedy investors love."

I agree. Most of the commentators here are not giving much weight to economic issues. And, I see no one referring to the leak of the budget by Rouhani, a leak that shows religious institutions getting fat while subsidies are being cut and youth unemployment is above 35%. It's a certainty that Iran's external enemies are trying to fan the flames, but the regime has created plenty of embers. Sure, check out the satellite photos of demos, but also take a look at the leaked budget.

Posted by: dadooronron | Jan 3 2018 13:22 utc | 93

91 - They are pretty good. German radio at present describes today's demonstration as "in support of the conservative clerical rule". Judging from the photos above (88) they did not fall into this trap.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 3 2018 13:22 utc | 94

Posted by: dadooronron | Jan 3, 2018 8:22:26 AM | 92

I think we got the plot of this tragicomedy now.

1. Rouhani publishes the budget to highlight large unaccounted spending on the religious institutions of his opponents.

2. His opponents fight back by highlighting the cut of subsidies and handouts making the poor depend on charity.

3. Iranians get upsite sharing their discontent via Telegram messenger.

4. Telegram's Dubai developers hand the data over to a secret service center used for coordinating the enemies of Iran. The latest highly sophisticated software used to evaluate the mood of populations declares the situation to be revolutionary. Population centers where most dissatisfaction is registered are identified. For some reason these centers are in the provinces.

5. Popular Iranian messenger channels inform people in the localities identified on simultaneous dates for demonstrations.

6. MEK and Royalist networks activate their sleeper cells to be there.

7. Somewhere in Tehran a counterinsurgency center with similar software to the one used in Dubai evaluates what is going on in the notoriously unsafe Telegram messenger. Iranian secret service cannot believe their luck - the enemy does a sting operation for them.

5. The Iranian Islamic Department for Soft Warfare (IIDSW) begins to plan the look and feel of the final unity demonstrations.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 3 2018 15:43 utc | 95

ArioBar(HAM)zan: "yes I do refer to the " Gorooh Feshars " and the Mesbah types as Shia ISIS, Not all of the Iranian Regime.'

Iranian Regime? sounds like US' UN Nikki Babe' label for governments she/Israel doesn't like . don't you think so? IMO, Ziocan hasbra didn't get far this time,

Posted by: kooshy | Jan 3 2018 15:45 utc | 96

@ BB8 83

There are things the IRI could do to improve its image inside and outside the country. Do you take any position regarding the following issues:

a) child marriages

According to the Islamic Republic civil code, the legal age of marriage in Iran is 13 for girls and 15 for boys. UNICEF estimates approximately 17% of girls in Iran are married before the age of 18. The population is close to 80 million, do the math (!) The IRI does not keep proper records of child marriages inside the country. But in 2012, the Iranian Parliament sought to lower girl’s legal marriage age to 9. See Vivian Tsai's 'Child bride practice rising in Iran'.

b) torture, executions and public hangings

c) bonyads are religious charitable trusts in Iran that receive billions of dollars. Rouhani who has been trying to improve the economy, create jobs and allocate proper funds to various sectors, recently disclosed details of the new budget, in particular the allocation of billions of dollars of funds to bonyads, as a way to provoke popular resentment, which worked as many Iranians were outraged

d) repression of trade unions and of the right to organize, to collectively bargain and to strike.

e) compulsory dress code for women (and men)

f) corruption and mismanagement

g) prohibition of alcohol

By addressing these issues, which I don't think would threaten the IRI in any fundamental way, other than perhaps ideologically or financially in the case of corruption, the government would help protect itself from criticisms and threats, both from within and outside of the country. Can you think of any good reason why the IRI doesn't 'update' its laws?

@ Ariobarzan 85 wrote in response to BB8:

"but are you claiming that the reason for internal corruption and oppression pointed out is the sanctions and demonising ? Not that I agree with sanctions and demonisation, not only they cause many problems for the Iranian people but also they are used as a tool by the regime to justify the internal oppression,"

Yes, I wholeheartedly agree and I have heard the same from many Iranians. The excuses must end. Even Rouhani and other government officials have sought to address the issue of corruption!

In Iran, there was a great revolutionary figure who mysteriously died in 1979, he was more popular than Khomeini, and in fact helped promote Khomeini's image in the country when the latter was living in exile by copying recorded tapes of his lectures and distributing them to his countrymen. This man spent over a decade in prison and was even tortured by SAVAK agent. He was called the Red Mullah because of his association with various socialist groups in Iran back in the 60s and 70s. He even wrote a piece on private property in Islam. This man's name was Ayatollah Taleqani, who has much respect in the country, even among the non-religious. There is a famous story of him which I would like to share: immediately after the revolution, when many Islamic revolutionaries had rushed into government buildings and in Parliament with the intention of occupying and securing for themselves seats in the newly established government, Taleqani who feared that a new dictatorship would replace the old one, famously did not take a seat in the parliament building, instead he sat on the floor, in protest at what he perceived to be a lust for power and corruption. He warned against a 'return to despotism' decades before. Here is the picture:

Posted by: ninel | Jan 3 2018 15:59 utc | 97

Leaving Syria aside for now and going for the greatest contrast, Ukraine, the ‘color’ revolution ‘Maidan’ - with the snipers / deaths, worked because of many particular local conditions. Note is was a *second* attempt after the Orange Revolution, 2004-5, which fizzled out, with Yanukovitch, Party of Regions, elected.

The Ukr. ‘opposition’ gathered all kinds of ‘refusniks’ together: the strongest were the Nazis, they were joined by deluded or ‘paid’ young ppl, ppl from the countryside, political opponents, splinter interests, etc.

In a country that traditionally is, was split in two, supposedly ethnically - culturally/linguistically - (pale distinctions, basically, the Donbass is the stronghold of the uncivilized, thugs, Russia lovers, etc.) and rife with internal strife. Already losing population - suitcase protest - since the middle 90’s, from 52 m down to maybe less than 45 m. today. With a super-weak totally oligarchic Gvmt. In Ukraine, the ugly dark murderous chaos might be wonderful from a US pov, heh yet …oohlaa…Crimea was lost to Russia.

None of these detrimental and negative characteristics (one could add many others) apply to Iran.

Nothing will happen. These manifestations of ‘protests’ engineered by various and blown up by the MSM are like the application of a tired, outdated script, the last dance, the small eruptions that finally fizzle or bubble out.

I hope I’m right.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 3 2018 16:15 utc | 98

It would seem that the Trump administration and its allies in deep state are exporting Fake News and rent a mobs. Are these exports increasing our GDP, Pres Trump?

Why don't you just get busy on your pledged agenda like cleaning the stinkin swamp, re-building infrastructure and creating term limits in congress?

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...

Posted by: John | Jan 3 2018 16:46 utc | 99

Thanks to ninel for his cogent account of the odiousness of the regime. Ludicrous to describe such a commenter as a troll.

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Jan 3 2018 16:48 utc | 100

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