Revolutionary Guards: “This conspiracy was nipped in the bud”


Following the death of Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in an attack by the Houthi insurgency, Iran has accused Saudi Arabia — the leading outside force fighting the Houthis — of pursuing a coup in the war-torn country.

The commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari (pictured), said on Tuesday, “We witnessed that they intended to stage a coup against [Houthi] fighters and Ansar Allah [the formal name for the insurgents] but this conspiracy was nipped in the bud.”

He denounced “traitorous” Saudis: “Backed by Americans and on their orders, the Saudis are seeking to create division among Muslims, and are going hand in hand with the Israelis.”

On Monday, Saleh was killed as he was moving from the Houthi-controlled capital Sana’a to Ma’arib Province, about 175 km (110 miles) to the northeast.

Days earlier, Saleh — President from 1980 to 2012, when he was removed after 13 months of mass protests — had split from the Houthis. He and his forces had been allied with Ansar Allah since July 2016, fighting the official Yemeni Government in the south and its backers including Saudi Arabia.

Saleh’s announcement last week was widely seen as an attempt to return to the President through a reconciliation with the Saudis and their allies, who launched their military intervention in March 2015, soon after the Houthis took control of Sana’a and forced the Government of President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi to relocate in the southern port city of Aden.

Thousands of civilians have been killed in the fighting since 2015, many of them from Saudi-led airstrikes, and millions are estimated to be at risk from sieges, blockades, and disruption of the war.

Khamenei Hits Back at Trump Declaration of Jerusalem as Israeli Capital

The Supreme Leader has challenged Donald Trump’s impending declaration as the capital of Israel.

Speaking to officials and ambassadors of Muslim countries at a Tehran conference on Wednesday, Ayatollah Khamenei said,
“Palestine today tops the political issues facing the Islamic Ummah and everyone is duty-bound to make endeavors towards its freedom and salvage.”

He asserted that Palestine will be freed from “occupation” and that the “enemies’ plan” to name Jerusalem as the capitals stemmed from “incompetence and despair”.

“The Muslim world would undoubtedly stand against this conspiracy and the Zionists will be dealt a heavy blow with this move and dear Palestine will at last be liberated without doubt,” Khamenei assured.

While almost all Arab leaders have criticized the likely US move, the Supreme Leader sought to put some of them — notably Saudi Arabia — alongside the Americans: “Sadly there are rulers in this region who dance to America’s tune; whatever America wants that is against Islam, they’ll do it. We have no discord with Muslim countries, we want unity…but some only want war.”

White House officials have indicated that Trump will announce the symbolic move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem — the actual complex will not be transferred from Tel Aviv for years — in a speech on Wednesday.

See TrumpWatch, Day 320

Speaking by phone with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President Hassan Rouhani said, “We believe, given the current conditions, all Islamic nations must become united and take a serious step in countering this wrong, illegal, provocative, and gravely dangerous move by the US.”

Rouhani declared, “There is no doubt that Israel is responsible for all the insecurity and instability.”

Student Protests Over Political and Social Issues

Hundreds of students at several major Iranian universities are holding protests against political suppression, gender discrimination, and higher tuition.

The protests began Monday at Tehran , Beheshti, Kharazmi, and Allameh Tabatabaei Universities in the capital and expanded to several other institutions outside Tehran on Tuesday.

The demonstrations are being held despite the ongoing detention, intimidation, expulsion of student activists, as well as the banning of publications, since the disputed 2009 Presidential election.

Students at Tehran University are criticizing the Rouhani Government for a “monetization of universities and capitalization of social life” and demanding free education. Chants include, “Loans have made us slaves of the banks.”

Public universities in Iran have generally been tuition-free but charges for night courses have increased significantly in recent years and universities have started to impose fees for various reasons, including dropped courses.

On Tuesday at Qom University, students protested gender segregation at a ceremony commemorating the forthcoming Students Day. They walked out of the venue chanting “students die, but do not accept discrimination”.

The Iranian regime has designated December 7 as Students Day to commemorate the death of three students who were killed in 1953 protesting a visit by US Vice President Richard Nixon to Tehran.