Patterico's Pontifications

1/12/2020

Iranians Direct Their Anger At Supreme Leader in Second Day of Protests

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:03 pm



[guest post by Dana]

In the aftermath of Iran admitting that they were responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian airplane in which 82 of the 176 passengers killed were Iranians, scores of angry Iranians are in the second day of protests at universities in Tehran and throughout the city as they demand that the Ayatolla and officials step down. The protesters are taking a substantial risk in voicing their demands as just two months ago, the regime killed more than 1,500 protesters.

Demonstrators are calling for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step down and for those responsible for downing the plane to be prosecuted.

“Khamenei have shame. Leave the country,” chanted protesters in the capital, Tehran, in footage posted on social media.

Protests have now spread to other cities, including Shiraz, Esfahan, Hamedan and Orumiyeh, Reuters reported.

There are also reports that protesters have a made a point to avoid stepping on flags of Israel and the U.S. that are painted on the ground, with protesters chanting: “They are lying that our enemy is America; our enemy is right here”:

This seems huge: Iranian media is also coming out against the supreme leader:

Newspapers called for resignations and sackings over the handling of the air disaster.

Sazandegi, a moderate conservative publication, also apologized to its readers for having trusted official sources on the matter.

“Apologize, resign,” said the main headline of the reformist Etemad daily.

“Unforgivable,” said government newspaper Iran, which published all the names of those who died in the air disaster on the image of black plane tail.

State media was compelled to push back:

Kayhan, a hardline daily, led on the supreme leader’s “strict orders” to follow up on the “painful incident of the plane crash”.

As public anger grew, state television aired interviews with people who it said “have not forgotten everything the Guards have done for the country.”

In response to the protests, President Trump first tweeted out his unwavering support for the protesters yesterday, both in English and Farsi:

Today, he directed his comments to the leadership of Iran, and exhorted them to stop killing their own people, while reminding them that the world was watching:

Here is some incredible video coming out of Iran posted by Masih Alinejad, who is the founder of My Stealthy Freedom, a group about which I’ve written here:

In addition, take time to read Yashar Ali’s thread on the Iranian situation here. In part:

This AM I woke up to dozens of messages from family/friends in Iran. Right now, Iran is a tinderbox internally. As some of you know, there are protests mostly around the anger that Iranians feel towards the gov after they admitted IRGC shot down the Ukraine Airlines aircraft

Iranians who are protesting and all the family/friends I spoke to (who live in different parts of Iran) are furious that they were lied to for three days about the cause of the plane crash. The Iranian government lied left and right about where the plane was headed

Iranians are in the street calling for prosecutions, saying Soleimani is a murderer. Telling leadership of the Iranian government to resign and saying that Trump isn’t the problem, that the Iranian government is.

And we are reminded that it’s easy to fill the streets with millions of Iranians for Qasem Soleimani’s funeral because there was no risk involved. However, to publicly protest and take to the streets demanding that the Supreme Leader step down and defy officials in this way, comes at an an enormous risk to the individual:

It looks like the worst is yet to come:

God bless these brave men and women.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

47 Responses to “Iranians Direct Their Anger At Supreme Leader in Second Day of Protests”

  1. Courage.

    Dana (643cd6)

  2. Great post, Dana. Incredibly thorough. I’ve been down this road too often to convince myself that this time the mullahs will finally be driven out, but I am keeping up hope nevertheless.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  3. I’m holding hope too, JVW. I can’t tell you how many videos I watched of Iranian security forces attacking older women, beating them, using electric prods, and shooting at them because they dared to speak their minds or refused to leave the streets. It’s so typical of these degenerate animals to go after the most vulnerable.

    Dana (643cd6)

  4. It’s hard not to get my hopes up. I’ve always wanted to see Iran, and even more, I want to see Iran rejoin the modern world, and its people to be free and dignified instead of thrown in torture prisons.

    Dustin (1a5213)

  5. I would love to know what’s going through the minds of Barack Obama and John Kerry right now. Maybe Secretary Kerry has long since given himself over to fanciful thinking to take any real stock of this, and perhaps President Obama is waiting for Valerie Jarrett to tell him what he is supposed to think about this matter.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  6. Intense post, Dana. Loaded with information.
    Thanks

    mg (8cbc69)

  7. The Farsi version of this tweet:

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1216114135529902081

    had the most re-tweets of any tweet that has ever been made in Farsi. It doesn’t take much for people to seize on glimmers of support from the president of the United States. It happens also in Hong Kong (by the way what China did there led to a landslide victory in Taiwan for the incumbent in the presidential election – Tsai Ing-wen was looking to lose a year ago. Her opponent was from the Kuomintang – the old party of Chiang Kai-shek which ruled Taiwan as a dictatorship with no elections and the exiled Parliament for many years after 1949 but is now close to Beijing.

    Trump wouldn’t have sent this tweet – and todays;s/s if he (or his advisers) didn’t have some hope this could be the end of the regime. The odds of this kind of thing aren’t as great as they aoppear – it did happen in Libya, but in Syria it led to a civil war which the dictator didn’t lose because of Iran and Soleimani. (they threw Hezbollah into the fight. It may depend if there iss any reservoir of loyal troops – and the person who could have organized that was Soleimani.

    Trump’s threat is almost a threat to include a mass killing of Iranians within his red line. Almost not quite, but he wants them to worry, because it seems to be something he can just throw in. Nevertheless he is still not calling for regime change – just for human rights.

    Russia or China would have to save the mullahs if things deteriorate for them. Neither is going to send any army. Russia might try sending some secret police. Iran (and Syria) was around in 2004 to create trouble in Iraq, but there’s nobody else around to sponsor terror in Iran.

    The protesters have a big big point in that the regime didn’t do anything to mourn the 176 people killed but put up all this stuff to mourn Soleimani the murderer. One hundred and seventy six people were killed, all because some people in Iran like war, if you can call it mere war. Most of the 176 are either Iranian students studying abroad or Iranian emigres to Canada and their children.

    They didn’t just lie about not shooting down the plane. They also lied, for awhile, about having killed 80 American soldiers in their strike.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  8. Via Allahpundit, the NYT pointed out that it’s not just students angry with their leaders:

    Criticism directed at Iran’s leadership came from all factions inside the country,” claims the Times, with even hardliners groaning about the military’s lies and incompetence.

    This makes me hopeful.

    Dana (643cd6)

  9. The protests have been going on for months. Trump has the chance to correct the Obama missteps. As the media and democrats sound like Tokyo Rose mimicking Tehrans message. I question the analysis of the U.S. national security elites who have become consumed with protecting Obama’s legacy.

    mg (8cbc69)

  10. The protesters are taking a substantial risk in voicing their demands as just two months ago, the regime killed more than 1,500 protesters.

    Maybe; maybe not. Iranians aren’t stupid; a little leeway for venting public penance- a verbal ‘flogging’ as it were- before the television cameras, can make for projecting clever international PR in the wake of the shootdown. Unlike North Korea, Iran, w/their oil reserves, still has a desire to conduct commerce within the region and further afoot, maintain international civil aviation operations and dealings- banking, trade, etc., –even w/t strain of U.S. sanctions– with other nations. It may just be sorta like a Trump rally with the call-and-response lackies shouting ‘lock her up’ for the TeeVee.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  11. Donald Trump is fluent in Farsi? And here we thought he only knew Covfefe.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  12. @2/@3. Americans always forget 1953.

    Iran doesn’t.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  13. DCSCA @11.

    Donald Trump is fluent in Farsi?

    Of course not. Somebody translated it for him.

    The question is: Who wrote that tweet in the first place? (English version.)

    Donald Trump okayed it anyway.

    They were sent simultaneously, or one after the other, at 3:46 pm whatever Twitter time he’s using, on Saturday January 11, 2020.

    Latest tweet from Donald Trump: (apparently, he’s using Eastern Standard Time)

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1216506722153639942

    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump

    National Security Adviser suggested today that sanctions & protests have Iran “choked off”, will force them to negotiate. Actually, I couldn’t care less if they negotiate. Will be totally up to them but, no nuclear weapons and “don’t kill your protesters.”

    5:46 PM · Jan 12, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

    What happened to don’t kill any Americans, which means don’t attack any site where Americans are present, or is that a given now, so not worth mentioning?

    I think Donald Trump thinks the mullahs are close to be being on the run.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  14. @13. A fourth tiered neocon quilled it, Sammy.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  15. Q. Any person in particular you guess?

    What do you mean by 4th tier? something like 4th rate, or is tier better?

    4th tier Because only such a person would take a job in the Trump administration?

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  16. @13. Of course not. Somebody translated it for him.

    Know that; he barely manages colloquial English, Sammy. But then, Melania, Marla, Ivana and all the mi$tre$$e$ in between can tell you he speaks the universal language of love. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  17. @15. There’s nobody top drawer there, Sammy. And those hanging on are mostly ‘acting’ something or other anyway.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  18. #5

    They are working hard on how they can move to take credit.

    steveg (354706)

  19. DCSCA
    You are a bellwether

    steveg (354706)

  20. I hope the protesters are OK. This is not a government that respects freedom of expression.

    Time123 (dba73f)

  21. This is not a government that respects freedom of expression.

    You’ve never been to a Trump rally.

    Not to worry, he’s said he’ll pay your legal fees. Just like he paid his contractors.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  22. #20
    Which is odd… or maybe not, because most the Iranians I have met are very expressive.
    A former client was a Persian woman, a relative of the Shah, maybe a sister. She spent about 30 minutes haranguing me about how much better the pomegranates were in Iran vs. California.
    “ummmmmm, yeah. Sorry?” OK California is not as good as Iran… got it”
    She was the one who had very aggressive Israeli security, which in my naivete I found odd… but who could she trust?…. not her people.

    steveg (354706)

  23. I would love to know what’s going through the minds of Barack Obama and John Kerry right now. Maybe Secretary Kerry has long since given himself over to fanciful thinking to take any real stock of this, and perhaps President Obama is waiting for Valerie Jarrett to tell him what he is supposed to think about this matter.

    JVW (54fd0b) — 1/12/2020 @ 3:29 pm

    They had such an opportunity. This proves it had some roots.

    Dustin (1a5213)

  24. #18 They better move fast. Right now a 4th tier neocon is getting credit for being more effective with a tweet than they were with several billion dollars.

    frosty (f27e97)

  25. Great post, Dana.

    nk (dbc370)

  26. @24. Don’t bet on it: 1953.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  27. All the Democrats need to do if they want to see Trump have a meltdown is to issue a statement that there are more Iranian protesters than there were attendees at his inaugural.

    nk (dbc370)

  28. Best wishes to freedom-loving people in Iran, Hong Kong and around the world.

    Thank goodness Hillary was not in a position to prevent this.

    harkin (d6cfee)

  29. “Right now a 4th tier neocon is getting credit for being more effective with a tweet than they were with several billion dollars.”

    The Obama crowd/msm having a rude awakening that Iranians don’t hate America as much as they do.

    harkin (d6cfee)

  30. The world is not watching what is going on in Kashmir, though, or even in New Delhi, although nobody seems to be being killed.

    https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/protests-in-delhi-hit-a-new-high-in-2019-data/story-uC0vXdXVJU2UsluFnUx1pO.html

    To be sure, 2020 has begun on a stormy note with a number of protests and rallies organised against CAA, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) violence, indicating that this year may also witness a large number of protests.

    https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/south-asia/indias-student-protests-revive-memories-of-those-in-1970s

    The protests have been largely peaceful, although instances of violence involving police and demonstrators, including the throwing of stones and damage to public property, have been reported. Also, more than 25 protesters have been killed in police crackdowns.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  31. @29. See #26.

    “Shah! Shah! Ayatollah so.” – Robin Williams

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  32. Would a non-Ayatollah Iran be accepted by Saudi Arabia and Israel?

    Fred (0f4c93)

  33. Fred has a point. The whole United States Middle East policy, as dictated by Israel and the oil companies, has been to keep the Arabs poor, ignorant, technologically backward, and in a state of perpetual social unrest, so they don’t pose a military threat to Israel or to the rule of the sheikhs. Anti-Baathification, for short.

    nk (dbc370)

  34. Israel probably. Saudi Arabia would continue to be fearful because the land of Iran has way more going for it.

    steveg (354706)

  35. Reportedly, many of the young Iranians on the downed plane were beginning the trip back to Canada where they were enrolled in universities there.

    This apparently has led to a new chant:

    “They’ve killed our geniuses and replaced them with clerics.”

    https://www.reddit.com/r/iran/comments/env5s5/this_is_a_brand_new_chant_never_heard_before_its/

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/12/world/middleeast/iran-plane-protests.html

    jim2 (a5dc71)

  36. Would a non-Ayatollah Iran be accepted by Saudi Arabia and Israel?

    Was the Shah accepted by Saudi Arabia and Israel? Is a non-Ayatollah Turkey acceptable to Saudi Arabia and Israel? Would a more moderate and peaceful Middle East be acceptable to neocons? For the record, that is the first time in my entire life that I used the term “neocon”, so thanks for the pitch. Perhaps there are questions we will never know the answers to. And others that we will.

    PTw (894877)

  37. The Daily Beast reports that Trump agreed to the killing of Soleimani several months ago, under the recommendation of Bolton, after Iranian forces shot down the US surveillance drone. But he called off the strike at the last minute, claiming he didn’t want to escalate the conflict because no Americans had been killed.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  38. The Daily Beast reports that Trump agreed to the killing of Soleimani several months ago, under the recommendation of Bolton, after Iranian forces shot down the US surveillance drone. But he called off the strike at the last minute, claiming he didn’t want to escalate the conflict because no Americans had been killed.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  39. 32. Fred (0f4c93) — 1/13/2020 @ 7:17 am

    Would a non-Ayatollah Iran be accepted by Saudi Arabia and Israel?

    A non-hostile Iran. Saudi Arabia would have the additional condition that it not be a democracy, with a hereditary monarchy being their preferred option, and military rule being the next best thing.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  40. @32 The Israelis practice never trust and be skeptical of what you can verify and for good reason. It’s likely there will always be fundamentalist Shia and Shiite groups in the region trying to exert influence which means there will always be tension between Iran, SA, and Israel. The only way for that to go away is for fundamentalist of one group to achieve enough power in the region and kill the other sects. For the fundamentalists, just wiping out Israel or getting the US out of the ME won’t change much between Iran and SA. It just means they need to print new propaganda.

    The Saudis, really MbS, seem to be trying to contain their fundamentalists because they are a danger to the monarchy. If there is a new regime in Iran the answer to your question depends on how fundamentalist it is and whether MbS is successful.

    frosty (f27e97)

  41. 37/8. I think what is probably the case is that contingency planning to do this has been going on for about six months, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was for it from the beginning, but did not initially have the support of other Cabinet members.

    I would like to look carefully at any source that says it was ordered previously and then cancelled. An opportunity to do this would only present itself sporadically. I would doubt that this was going to go ahead at the same time as the cancelled attacks in September.

    Now it’s possible that Trump et al would have figured that if there were ordered attacks in Iran that killed X number of soldiers, an attack on Soleimani would have to follow.

    Mark Simone also claimed on the radio today on WOR 710 in New York that the Swiss had presented Iran with “the” list of 52 targets, which included military headquarters and airfields, which would cost them $15 to $20 billion to rebuild. He also claimed that the United States told Iran which bases to avoid in their retaliation and which bases would be OK to hit. (!?)

    I do see this:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/swiss-back-channel-helped-defuse-u-s-iran-crisis-11578702290

    It says there is a special encrypted fax machine in a sealed room of the Swiss mission in Teheran on a secure Swiss government network linking its Tehran embassy to the Foreign Ministry in Bern and its embassy in Washington, and only the most senior officials have the key cards needed to use the equipment. The messages are then delivered by hand from the Swiss Ambassador to the Iranian Foreign Minister. The Swiss link has been going on since 1980 and the Swiss would like people to know they are available for things like this. The Ambassador also periodically visits Washington.

    Trump supplied a telephone number to Iran when he reimposed sanctions, but Iran prefers to use the Swiss “brieftrager” or postman.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  42. Interesting that the Iranian people are not acting as the mullahs wish but the American news media is.

    harkin (d6cfee)

  43. The American news media largely are not affected by or do not suffer from actions by the mullahs but the people in Iran do so it stands to reason they’d be less opposed to them than Iranians. To the extent that they fear the mullahs, the media can think they can be appeased.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  44. Sometimes, Trump’s underthinking of things is better than Obama’s overthinking.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  45. Interesting that the Iranian people are not acting as the mullahs wish but the American news media is.

    This is my shocked face.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  46. 44.Sometimes, Trump’s underthinking of things is better than Obama’s overthinking.

    A broken clock is right twice a day, too–but don’t set your watch and live your life by it- it’s still broken.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  47. Great post Dana. Thank you for it.

    My hopes and prayers are with the Persian people and that they can finally overthrow their Muslim oppressors.

    NJRob (4d595c)


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