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Iran: Protests Complete First Week, Death Toll Reaches 25

1/5/2018 12:00:00 AM   |      |   

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Chief Maj-Gen Mohammed Ali Jaafari accused sites of a former official of inciting the latest protests in the country and announced the 2017 sedition defeated, as the protests in several cities entered their second week and the death toll reached 25.
Media outlets loyal to President Hasan Rouhani reported that the situation in Tehran and Isfahan is relatively calm amid intensified security measures. However, several videos circulated on social media showed the situation was not contained yet. According to reports, 90 cities participated in the protests with the death toll reaching 25, while official reports stated that it was 22.
Jafari accused enemies and a former official of being behind the protests, in a comment analysts believe referred to former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He said "security preparedness and people's vigilance" had led to the defeat of "enemies" and the Guard only intervained in a "limited" way in three provinces.
He claimed there were a maximum of 1,500 people in each place and the number of troublemakers did not exceed 15,000 people nationwide.
However, Amadnews website accused Revolutionary Guards of attacking protesters in the city of Khomeyni Shahr on Tuesday.
Maj. Gen. Jafari announced: "Today, we can say that this is the end of the 96 sedition," referring to the 1396 Hijri year. Since 2009, the Iranian government had been describing the protests as “sedition” when widespread demonstrations swept the country for eight months.
Speaking to economic newspaper “Jahane Sanat, Iranian government spokesman Mohammad Reza Nobakht admitted that Iranian government spends on war in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Last June, Lebanese Hezbollah Sec. Gen. Hasan Nasrallah announced that Iran sends money and weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Kerman Governor General Alireza Razm-Hosseini stated that the secret services arrested a number of protesters who are believed to have relations with sites that led or called for protests.
Khomeyni Shahr representative said that at least one protester had been killed on Tuesday, while “Khaneh Mellat”, the Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency, reported Mohammed Jawad Abtahi saying during the illegal protests, a person died after sustaining injuries.
An Expert on Iranian affairs and researcher Hasan Hashemian told Asharq al-Awsat that the protests reveal several major issues. The first one refers to Hasan Rouhani’s vision of dealing with the protest which clashes with the Revolutionary Guard’s vision who wants direct confrontation. However, Rouhani wants to deal with the issue through ministries and security forces.
The second issue is that Hashemian discussed the Iranian regime’s failure to pin the blame on foreign intervention or extremists groups. He added that the regime asked the protesters to leave the streets and end their demonstrations calmly, however it doesn’t offer any solutions or economic policies to end the crisis.
Hashemian concluded by saying that despite all pressures, protesters succeeded in shedding light on their internal problems and sending out a message stating that they don’t care for the issues in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, or Yemen. By this, Hashemian indicated, they managed to gain the sympathy of the international community and countries like US and Canada.
The researcher believe that if the protesters had access in the internet away from the surveillance of the Guards in the upcoming days, people will witness the “beginning of the end” of the current regime.



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