Power to the People: Iranians Flood the Streets in Protest of Ayatollah and Clerics

By Danny C. | DCPeriodical | 01/11/20 |

In a major twist from the most recent of events in Iran, citizens of Tehran poured into the streets earlier in protest of their government.

The crowds were chanting “death to liars!” and “death to the dictator” in response to Iranian authorities’ admission that one of their missiles unintentionally brought down Ukrainian Flight PS752 — which held majorly Iranian and Canadian passengers. The admission came following days of claims that the plane crashed due to engine failure and a refusal to hand over the black boxes recovered.

Amid mounting public fury and international criticism, the belated admission of blame by Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards has squandered the national unity seen after the killing of the country’s most influential commander in a U.S. drone strike in Iraq on Jan. 3.

Reuters.

Over the past week, millions had took the streets to mourn the death of assassinated General Qasem Soleimani, who was hit by a targeted US drone strike at Baghdad Airport last Tuesday. Today that mourning has turned to rage as some among the protesters — today numbered in the hundreds — have been reportedly tearing photos of Soleimani in half.

Massive student-led anti-government protests broke out in Iran last November — involving tens of thousands of people across several cities — which led to police forces opening fire on the crowds. Hundreds are thought to have been killed.

Today, in light of the apparent lies told by the government over Flight 752, those spirits have been rekindled.

Already there have been clashes with officers.

And tomorrow’s protests are forecast to be even larger as animosity towards the theocratic rulers of Iran reignites — and as parliamentary elections come just next month.

“It is a very sensitive time for the establishment. They face a serious credibility problem. Not only did they conceal the truth, they also mismanaged the situation,” said a senior former official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, Iran’s clerics have swept aside challenges to their grip on power. But the kind of distrust between the rulers and the ruled that erupted in protests last year may now have deepened.

Ayatollah Khameini has always had massive turnouts come election time, which he has often cited to affirm Iran’s clerical rule as legitimate. With the country’s economy already failing — due in large part to crippling US sanctions — and war appearing close on the horizon, coupled with lies about killing nearly 200 innocent people, even if by accident, those tides, at least among the young intellectual classes, seem to be changing.

“Why should I vote for this regime,” questioned Tehran university student Hesham Ghanbari. “I don’t trust them at all. They lied to us about the plane crash. Why should I trust them when they don’t trust people enough to tell the truth?”

Videos of the protest show what looks to be hundreds of Iranians in front of Amir Kabir University raising their fists, chanting and clapping their hands. A candlelit vigil was held earlier at the university for the victims of the shooting.

Global News.

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