In Iran — the third day of protests despite threats of the authorities

In Iran — the third day of protests despite threats of the authorities

Iran’s government has urged its citizens not to take part in “illegal rallies”. Despite this, the anti-government protests on Saturday again were held in several cities of the country.

During three days of protests against corruption and falling living standards in Iran had arrested dozens of people.

After two days of active participation, on Saturday a small group continued to gather at Tehran University and in other places.

Interior Minister abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli urged people not to participate in the rallies, because, in his words, “they will create problems for themselves and other citizens.”

Iranian authorities accused of inciting protest of some “counter-revolutionaries” and foreign agents.

The administration of U.S. President Donald trump warned Iran that the world is watching the reaction of the authorities to the protests. The Iranian foreign Ministry called the comments opportunistic and deceitful.

Meanwhile on Saturday, in the demonstrations reached thousands of Pro-government demonstrators. These formal meetings were organized before the start of anti-government protests to mark the eighth anniversary of the suppression of major protests of 2009 in Iran.

The reporter of the Persian service Bi-bi-si Qasr Naji:

The videos, posted on social networks, is seen as demonstrators shout slogans demanding the resignation of Iran’s Supreme leader and the clerical regime.

On the third day, the protests were held just a few kilometers from the place where thousands of people gathered for a Pro-government rally in support of the Supreme leader of the country. Officials hope that these meetings, sponsored by the government, will serve as a demonstration of the power of the supporters of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

State television a Bastion of the Islamic traditionalists in Iran — reports about the huge number of members of Pro-government demonstrations.

The authorities were taken by surprise by anti-government protests, which, according to them, are illegal. Authorities are warning that violations of the law will be dealt with harshly. But they recognize that in the country there is a widespread dissatisfaction, and that it is associated not only with higher prices.

As the protests began?

The protests began on Thursday in northeastern Mashhad — second largest city in the country.

People took to the streets to Express outrage over the high prices, and directed their anger against President Hassan Rouhani. Fifty-two people were arrested for chanting anti-government slogans.

Major protest erupts today in north-east #Iran city of Mashhad against corruption economic & rising cost of living. Angry chants of “Death to Rouhani” & “Death to Dictator”. #FreeIran @4FreedominIran

— M. Hanif Jazayeri (@HanifJazayeri) 28 Dec 2017

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On Friday, the protests had spread to at least six other cities. In some cities, clashes broke out between police and demonstrators.

Some protests turned into a broader demonstration against the authorities with appeals to release political prisoners and to put an end to the beatings of demonstrators by police.

The protests have become the largest demonstration of public dissent since the time of large-scale demonstrations in support of reforms in 2009.

The total number of protesters ranged from a few dozen people in some places to several thousand in others, but the massive scale of the protest is not observed.

In the video, posted Saturday on Twitter in Persian, apparently, are the students of Tehran University, urging Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to resign.

What they say about the protests the Iranian authorities?

First Vice-President Jahangiri Asshat suggested that behind the protests are opponents of the government, according to state broadcaster IRIB.

“Some incidents in the country these days happen under the pretext of economic problems, but apparently, it stands for something else. They think that this will hurt the government, but there will be others who will ride the wave,” he said.

The Governor-General of Tehran has warned that any such rallies will be hard to understand the police.

Officials in Mashhad claim that the protest was organized by “counterrevolutionary elements,” while the Iranian state channel, it was reported that “some opportunists tried to bring happiness to the British, American and Saudi media hard slogans.”

However, the report noted that the economic problems that people experience are undeniable.

What’s behind the unrest?

Initially the protests were directed against the difficult economic situation and corruption, but seems to be gradually developed into a political.

One of the iconic photos of yesterday’s protest was a young woman with her hejab compulsory on a stick…
What a wondrous site. Viva the protesting people of Iran. Long Live!

— Maryam Namazie (@MaryamNamazie) December 29, 2017

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The demonstrators chanted slogans directed not only against Rouhani but Khamenei, and the clerical rule in General.

The protesters chanted: “the People live in poverty, and the clergy imagined themselves to be gods.” Even protests were held in Qom, the Holy city, where they live high-ranking clergy.

People have also expressed anger about Iranian interferences in the Affairs of other countries.

In Mashhad, some people chanted, “Not Gaza, not Lebanon, my life for Iran”, pointing out that authorities pay more attention to external, not internal problems.

The videos posted on the Internet, you can hear the protesters chanting, “Leave Syria, think about us!”.

Iran is actively supporting the government of Bashar Assad in Syria.

Now: anti-govt protest in #Mashhad. Protesters chant ‘No #Gaza or #Lebanon, my life only for #Iran’

— Ahmed Quraishi – TV Team (@Office_AQPk) 28 Dec 2017

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Tehran is also accused of supplying arms to rebels, the Houthis in Yemen who are fighting the coalition, led by Saudi Arabia. These charges Iran denies.

Iran is also an ally of the Syrian Shiite movement “Hezbollah” in Lebanon.