Iran Daily: Protests and Arrests Continue, UN Security Council to Meet

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Protest in Dezhul in southwest Iran, January 4, 2018

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UPDATE 2100 GMT: The Iranian regime has put out its story of the foreign conspiracy which it says is behind the protests.

Public Prosecutor Mohammad Jafar Montazeri proclaimed a plot masterminded by the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia which began four years ago.

He said the “main mastermind” was “Michael Andrea”, a “former CIA member in charge of combatting terrorism that formed the group to create unrest: “Michael Andrea along with an officer affiliated to the Mossad spy agency where in charge of masterminding the plot while Saudi Arabia paid for all the expenses.”

In June, The New York Times revealed that Michael D’Andrea, who oversaw operations pursuing Obama bin Laden and the US drone strike campaign, had been put in charge of the CIA’s Iran group for a more muscular approach to covert operations”.

On Thursday, Robert Fisk, a columnist for The Independent of London, put out the conspiracy theory, “Why is Trump’s man in Iran, Michael D’Andrea, Missing from Conversations About the Protests?”

Montazeri said the plot, “Consequential Convergence Doctrine”, had planned demonstrations based on scenarios such as inflation, high costs for services and good, and financial demands on retired people. They were models on the Tunisian and Libyan uprisings of 2011, and prepared through “operation rooms” in Ebril in northern Iraq and Herat in western Afghanistan.


UPDATE 1145 GMT: Iran’s Embassy in the UK has sent an official letter complaining about coverage of the protests.

Britain’s media regulator Ofcom said the letter is being carefully evaluated.

The Iranian regime is trying to portray the demonstrations as instigated or hijacked by foreign powers.

Iranian authorities, notably the Revolutionary Guards, have long pursued a campaign of intimidation and harassment of staff of BBC Persian and their relatives still in Iran.


UPDATE 1130 GMT: Tehran’s Friday Prayer Leader, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, called on authorities to deal “firmly” with organizers of protests.

However, in line with the Rouhani Government — and in contrast to the approach taken by the regime towards mass protest after the disputed 2009 Presidential election — Khatami, a hardline cleric, said, “Those ordinary Iranians who were deceived by these American-backed rioters should be dealt with based on Islamic clemency.”

Khatami also conferred legitimacy on the causes of the protests, calling on the government to “pay more attention to people’s economic problems”.


ORIGINAL ENTRY: Protests continued in cities across Iran for an eighth day on Thursday. So did arrests, with more than 1,700 people now detained at some point during the demonstrations over political and economic issues.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council has scheduled an emergency meeting for Friday despite Russian objections. US Ambassador Nikki Haley called for the meeting earlier this week in support of the right to protest: “This is a matter of fundamental human rights for the Iranian people, but it is also a matter of international peace and security.”

Despite the regime’s claims, including from Revolutionary Guards head Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, that protests had been quelled, at least three gatherings took place in the capital Tehran. One was on Jomhouri (Republic) Avenue, not far from the Supreme Leader’s residence. Chants included “Not Gaza, not Lebanon, I give my life to Iran”.

There were demonstrations in Shiraz in the south of Iran, Ahvaz and Dezful in the southwest, Aligoodarz in the west, and Noshahr in the north. Protests were also reported for the first time in Tabriz in the predominantly Azeri speaking northwest, with crowds chanting “spring of freedom”.

More than 130 exiled Iranian political and civic activists issued a joint statement supporting the protests while asking demonstrators ito avoid violence.

Lawyer and activist Shirin Ebadi, winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, suggested civil disobedience, “People should stop paying electricity, water and gas bills. They should not pay their tax. They should withdraw their money from banks.”

Ebadi also appealed to Iran’s security forces, “I call on my dear children in the police forces and the Revolutionary Guards to put down their guns and do not kill their own brothers and sisters. If the country’s situation improves, you would also benefit from it.”

The regime will hope to project its message of ascendancy over the protests with a third straight day of counter-marches on Friday. Today’s event of support is planned for Tehran after Friday prayers.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Prosecutor explains how the protests were incited by foreign intelligence: http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961015001010

    Montazeri said that the main mastermind of the plan was an American national named Michael Andrea who was a former CIA member in charge of combatting terrorism that formed the group to create unrest in the Islamic Republic of Iran. “Michael Andrea along with an officer affiliated to Mossad spy agency where in charge of masterminding the plot while Saudi Arabia paid for all the expenses,” They had offered two models named Tunisia and Libya and finally chose the latter which was to create waves of unrest from outside to the center, he added. They had prepared two operation rooms in Ebril of Iraq and Herat in Afghanistan to create riots in Iran, he said.

    • of course, because accountability for your actions is NOT a strength of Iran. Too cowardly. Always need a boogeyman.

      Time will be up soon enough

    • When you deny the dire economic conditions that the poorest Iranians are subject to, and then blame the protests on plots by Israel and the US, it implies that you are lying.

      • “When you deny the dire economic conditions that the poorest Iranians are subject to”

        Let us no forget that many of the hardships are due to the fact that their economy is rigged with sanctions.

        • I think the effect of the sanctions is over-estimated. Oil is still being sold on the international markets and Iran is producing oil at the maximum rate possible of 6.5 Mbd. Only 40% of the oil can be exported because 60% is consumed domestically. Food and medicine are not under sanction. The sanction seems to affect certain groups connected to the regime more as compared to the population as a whole. The drop in oil prices has had a much greater impact.

        • good! then it shows the sanctions working. Let me remind you, those sanctions were put in place for shitty behavior in the first place.

    • “Ebadi also appealed to Iran’s security forces, “I call on my dear children in the police forces and the Revolutionary Guards to put down their guns and do not kill their own brothers and sisters. If the country’s situation improves, you would also benefit from it.”

      Makes a lot of sense.

    • According to Prof. Salehi, the direct cash transfer payments to all Iranians (as much as $300 a month for a family of 4 at the start) was a good move (by Ahmadinejad) for poverty reduction, but due to inflation the effective value of this transfer is about $50 a month now, and Rouhani is trying to terminate this program, and also oil is now being subsidized massively (which generally helps the rich).

      What do you think about such a program for a place like Iran?

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