Al-Jisr Editorial Team
Jan 3, 2018
It’s hard to predict the outcome of the Iranian protests which started last month, both the Iranian government and protesters have enough reasons to persist and prevail.
In 2009, the Iranian regime faced an uprising almost two years before the rise of the Arab Spring. At that time, the massive protests led to another election round in June 2009, and the regime was able to crash its opponents through brutal repression and detention of the nominal leaders of these protests.
A while after that, the guardianship of the Islamic jurist regime (known as Wilayat al- Faqih) became part of the Arab spring, forcing itself in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Bahrain in an attempt to take advantage of these revolutions to serve its own purposes. The motives behind today’s protests are sharply different from those of "the green movement", the former protests were directly linked to politics and the alleged election fraud between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Mir Hossein Mousavi. They were practically crashed through arresting and besieging its strategists and leaders.
Such procedures left the Iranians puzzled and made them wonder about the fate of pouring out into the streets to demonstrate.Eventually, they were forced to step back gradually.
The latest protests are fueled by the economic hardship the country is sinking in and have no leader but the poverty which lashes the Iranian souls; where 50% of them live under the poverty line (nearly 40 million out of 80), while their government spends billion on Assad and Houthis, Hezbollah and the Iraqi militias.
In any case, comparing 2009 demonstrations with today’s need to be approached from various angles and given specific readings.
However, what it is striking is the U.S attitude towards “the green movement” and the current wave of protests. Washington had a major shift in its attitude, while Obama administration didn’t provide any support for 2009 protests and didn’t attack the administration of Ahmadinejad, we see that Trump took a completely different stance and watches the developments with a big interest, he also dedicates much space in his tweets to show his administration’s attitude towards the current events. Trump took the current demonstrations as an opportunity to attack the Iranian regime and accuse it of “corruption and support of terrorism”, and probably the most dangerous tweet was when he said “it’s time for change”.
A superficial reading for the American attitude between the period of 2009 and 2018 would suggest that Obama administration left thousands of protests at the face of the machine of repression, while Trump administration praises the protesters and encourages them to go out and ask for their right and face this brutal regime and promises them of assistance and support. Most of analysts, who have been monitoring the Iranian file, believe that the administration of Obama was soft on Tehran and didn’t interfere in its internal affairs, and didn’t give the Iranian regime an opportunity to blame the protests on foreign agents and an international conspiracy.
This allowed the opposition to resist and struggle for years since Iran’s “virtual enemy” didn’t give the Iranian regime an excuse to confront ten of thousands of protesters and accuse them of being directed by “the Great Satan” Today, trump tweets on daily basis about the current events in Iran, as a response to that, Iranian officials have asked him to focus on his internal affairs instead of trying to “incite” the Iranian people. The Mullahs regime in Iran takes its enmity to the United States a guise and cover for its plans in the region. The exchange accusations and threats between Tehran and Washington are used to mobilize Iranians in certain occasions, such as the case of “elections”.
Indeed, Iranians see the U.S as “The Great Satan”, led by their inherited ideologies, they believe that whatever comes of the U.S cannot be in the favor of Islam or Iran.
Some analysists believe that Trump is doing a great favor to Mullahs regime which blamed protesters and accused them of being “foreign proxies”.
Such accusation this will make the regime supporters rally around it and thus shift the struggle against the regime into a fight against trump administration.
Most of Iranians would prefer silence rather than being accused of betrayal, and consequently choose to live under the fire and fury of Mullahs rather the Great Satan’s paradise.
The truth is that Trump’s administration is a stealing the protesters’ thunder deprives them from the quality of patriotism and their legitimacy to demand their rights. This also gives the Iranian regime a great motive to crash them.
In all cases, Trump promises and statements are void and have no weight on the ground, as he promised before the Syrian people of eliminating the Assad regime and confirmed that “his days are numbered”.
Today, Trump and his vice president, Mike Pence, promise Iranians of “great support from the United States at the appropriate time”. His administration will provide nothing but illusion and lies for Iranians. In fact. It, by doing this it gives Mullahs regime a golden opportunity to crash their opponents under the claim of “foreign conspiracy”.