Podcast: Iran’s Challenges and the Right to Protest

Students at Tehran University during a demonstration

I spoke with Julia Hartley-Brewer of London’s talkRADIO on Wednesday about the protests across Iran over economic and political issues.

The conversation begins with an explanation of the causes of the demonstrations:

What we are looking at over the next few days is whether the protests remain on economic issues and the Government says, “OK, we hear you. We’re going to something about it”, or whether the political demands are so entrenched that we see something bigger as in 2009 when the message was “we don’t think this system is legitimate”.

Then we discuss the violence — “I don’t think we are looking at a systematic use of force yet to quell the protests” — knock back the regime pretext of a foreign-instigated protest (“It’s nonsense), and consider the question, “What should we outside Iran do?”

What is important is not Donald Trump’s interests or American interests or our interests in the UK — it’s the interests of Iranians. When we say “Do it this way” or “Do it that way”, when we say, “You need this kind of ‘democracy'”, we cross the line.

What I believe we should do is always uphold the right of Iranians to be able to talk to their government.

Listen to Discussion

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  1. “something bigger as in 2009 when the message was “we don’t think this system is legitimate”.

    There was never any talk in 2009 about the political system not being legitimate. Mousavi and Karroubi to this day have always insisted they are loyal to the Islamic revolution, There was talk that the Ahmadinejad government was not legitimate.

    • When election candidates are filtered and no election campaigning is allowed, the government becomes illegitimate. That is Democracy 101 for you.

        • No one is filtered in the liberal democratic west. The political party chooses a candidate, and the candidate appears on the ballot. Then there is open campaigning where the candidate goes on TV and attacks the government or the other candidates and the incumbent. There may be any number of political parties. You can have communists, fascists, drug liberalizers, anti-state, clowns, appear alongside serious candidates with different political leanings. Filtering a candidate or closing down the campaign is illegal under the constitution and if the police try to do that, they will be punished. Take Democracy 101.

        • Musavi was a filtered in candidate and anti-Khamenei candidates were either too scared to run or filtered out. And campaign is something that goes on year-round on the internet and in the papers and on TV, etc. way before the election date. Limiting it to 3 weeks where the state TV is controlled by the government in favor of their candidate, and where the voter never gets to hear from free candidates, is simply fascism. Take Democracy 101 to see how it is to be done, to be acceptable to the world community.

    • “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasnim_News_Agency”
      Seems that ‘tasnimnews’ is a tool of the IRGC and therefore, is not a reliable source of information, and the main content will be propaganda. The Americans are contemplating classifying the IRGC as a terrorist organisation and they are certainly terrorising the Syrian people. I would not trust their word for anything.

    • Another fake news site? Did you know that in other forums, people who publish propaganda and continuously link to fake news sites are banned? Why don’t you up your standard and stop publishing from IRGC and regime outlets? Stop trolling and you are destined to be kicked.

  2. Pro-Gov’t Rallies Continue in Different Iranian Cities: http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961014000506

    “Demonstrators flooded the cities in towns and cities, including, Mashhad, Isfahan, Shiraz, Rasht, Birjand, Babol, Hamedan, Neishabour, Chalous, Yasouj, Ardabil and Uroumiyeh, for the second consecutive day. The participants held the US and the Israeli regime responsible for the recent wave of violence in Iran.Tehran residents will hold a rally tomorrow after Friday prayers.”

    Meanwhile, 3 Iranian intelligence officers were killed following an ISIS infiltration in the western city of Piranshahr: https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2018/01/04/1619330/three-iranian-intelligence-forces-killed-in-western-city-of-piranshahr

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