Introduction — Jan 4, 2018
Note that the officials and former officials quoted below are unnamed. So they could easily be intelligence officers involved in efforts to salvage the impression of near revolt in Iran.
Because although there seems to have been some genuine discontent over recent price rises, nothing like the wave of anti government protests that the Western media claimed to have occurred seems to have happened. Despite NBC reporting that “more than 70 cities” were rocked by demonstrations, the only hard evidence we have of that are a few grainy cell-phone images.
Rather than a wave of spontaneous anti-government protests however, Western covert ops appear to have attempted to hijack legitimates economic grievances of ordinary Iranian’s for their own purposes.
The timing was crucial. A pivotal decision is looming and later in January Trump will have to decide whether to renew sanctions on Iran or not. The street protests provided him with a perfect justification should he decide to do so. Providing that the media can successfully convince the public that they are “anti-government” protests, of course.
So the corporate media is going all out to convince us that the protests were bigger, and more openly anti-regime than they may actually have been.
However, events are moving fast and the following NBC report is a damage limitation exercise as it becomes apparent that the protests may not have been as widespread or as pointedly anti-government as the Western media initially claimed. Note that the unnamed officials quoted below claim the protests were an “embarrassment” to the government, not an outright “revolution”.
That’s a bit of a climb down but it still gives Trump enough wiggle-room to re-impose sanctions.
By January 15, 2018, he must decide whether to sign the waiver freezing US sanction on Iran. So in little more than a week we will know whether the Iran hawks have succeeded with their media manipulation or not. Ed.
It’s not a revolution but Iran’s regime ‘is embarrassed’
Ken Dilanian and Robert Windrem — NBC News Jan 4, 2018
The Iranian government appears to have contained the civil unrest across that country so far, but the protests could still evolve into a serious threat to the regime, current and former intelligence officials told NBC News.
“At this moment, the government appears to have this under control — this is discontent, not revolution,” said a former senior intelligence official with long Middle East experience, after Iran was roiled by a sixth day of anti-government protests in more than 70 cities. The protests are both large and small, according to one official, who said that in some cities, demonstrators can be counted on one hand.
“People so far are moving away from something — the status quo — but not embracing something else, revolution,” said the former official
The former official added, however, that “the social contract is stained, the regime is embarrassed.”
“The protests are symptomatic of longstanding grievances that have been left to fester by Tehran,” said a current official. “The Iranian government faces a crossroads.”
The current and former officials said the protests were different in character and scope from the bloody unrest that roiled the country in 2009, which police and paramilitary Basij suppressed with batons, pepper spray, sticks and firearms. Among those shot and killed was Neda Agha-Soltan, whose final moments were uploaded to YouTube and viewed around the world.