Thousands of Iranians are taking it to the streets in Mashhad, and in many other cities in the country, denouncing the ISIS’s clerical establishment and Grand Ayatollah Ali Khmenei.
Via the Federalist Papers Project:
The protesters denounced the Islamic Republic’s clerical establishment and Grand Ayatollah Ali Khmenei.
The Associated Press reports:
Thousands already have taken to the streets of cities across Iran, beginning at first on Thursday in Mashhad, the country’s second-largest city and a holy site for Shiite pilgrims.
The protests in the Iranian capital, as well as U.S. President Donald Trump tweeting about them, raised the stakes. It also apparently forced state television to break its silence, acknowledging it hadn’t reported on them on orders from security officials.
“Counterrevolution groups and foreign media are continuing their organized efforts to misuse the people’s economic and livelihood problems and their legitimate demands to provide an opportunity for unlawful gatherings and possibly chaos,” state TV said.
The protests appear sparked by social media posts and a surge in prices of basic food supplies, like eggs and poultry. Officials and state media made a point Saturday of saying Iranians have the right to protest and have their voices heard on social issues.
However, protesters in Tehran on Saturday chanted against high-ranking government officials and made other political statements, according to the semi-official Fars news agency. Hundreds of students and others joined a new economic protest at Tehran University, with riot police massing at the school’s gates as they shut down surrounding roads.
Fars also said protests on Friday also struck Qom, a city that is the world’s foremost center for Shiite Islamic scholarship and home to a major Shiite shrine.
The Associated Press reports that at least 50 protesters have been arrested since Thursday.
President Trump rushed to defend the protesters, saying the Iranian people are “fed up with regime’s corruption & its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad. Iranian govt should respect their people’s rights, including the right to express themselves. The world is watching!”
Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime’s corruption & its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad. Iranian govt should respect their people’s rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching! #IranProtests
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2017
The US State Department also defended the protesters.
The Daily Caller reports:
Earlier Friday, the U.S. Department of State called on the international community to support the Iranian people’s “demands for basic rights and an end to corruption.”
“Iran’s leaders have turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement, “As President Trump has said, the longest-suffering victims of Iran’s leaders are Iran’s own people.”
The protests are the largest Iran has seen since 2009.
The Trump administration offers a stark contrast to Obama’s silence over Iranian protests in 2009.
“I think it would be wrong for me to be silent about what we’ve seen on the television over the last few days,” Obama said.
Notice that after ignoring days of protests, Obama finally broke his silence by denying his silence.
“I would say to those people,” he continued. “who put so much hope and energy and optimism into the political process, I would say to them that the world is watching and inspired by their participation, regardless of what the ultimate outcome of the election was. And they should know that the world is watching.”
He did not condemn the Islamic Republic, however, and he was careful to let them know that he wasn’t going to take sides. Ultimately, he put his trust in the Iranian government the people were protesting.
“We respect Iranian sovereignty,” Obama concluded. “and want to avoid the United States being the issue inside of Iran. […] My understanding is, is that the Iranian government says that they are going to look into irregularities that have taken place.”
The Daily Caller notes that Obama finally did condemn Iran’s regime for oppression a week later. Even then, he took a weaker stance than Trump takes now. Surely, Obama was advised to take a harder stance, since the public saw his wishy-washy statement as supportive of Iranian corruption.
President Trump is doing what his predecessor clearly failed to do. Or rather, Trump stands with the Iranian people, as Obama didn’t. That is one of the differences between them. While Obama only promised and did nothing, President Trump doesn’t stop to deliver his campaign promises.