Iran protests are genuine, huge, deserve support

Saying the Iran protests are somehow stage-managed by Washington is American Exceptionalism. It implies the US somehow controls the planet and that protesters, some of whom have been killed, are unknowing puppets. Which is really kind of insulting to the hundreds of thousands in the streets of Iran now, when you think about it.

The Iran protests were probably originally started by hardliners. However, the protests grew hugely and quickly. The hardliners no longer control them, if they ever did. These are real, homegrown protests by people weary of their autocratic, religious nutcase regime. At least twenty are dead, so far.

Yes, outside forces and shadowy groups will try to influence the protests, to spin it their own way. There has been disinformation. Getting accurate information is dificult because the regime is so repressive. However, by all accounts, the protests are immense, not manipulated, and deserve support.

It may be that these conservatives initiated or tolerated the protests as a way of undermining President Hassan Rouhani, seen as a political moderate, who was re-elected by a landslide last year. If so, the protests have swiftly spiralled out of the control of the conservatives and are erupting all over Iran, strong evidence of a high level of discontent everywhere in the country and possibly a sign of covert organisation by anti-government groups.

And of course their Supreme Leader is blaming outside agitators. This invariably happens when protests get huge.

Iran’s supreme leader broke his silence Tuesday on the antigovernment protests erupting across the country, blaming the deadly unrest on foreign “enemies.”

“During the escapades of the past several days, Iran’s enemies, using the various tools at their disposal, including money, weapons, politics and security apparatus, have allied [with one another] to create problems for the Islamic establishment,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying by state media in his first comments on the unrest that began Thursday.

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