The following information is based on information I received from someone I know who is from Iran and is extremely well informed about her country of origin and current realities there. This Iranian-American lives in the Washington DC area.
Recently Trump lied about the protests that occurred in parts of Iran in late December 2017 and early January 2018. He claimed that the Iranian people were calling for “regime change” and supporting Trump’s belligerent policy toward that nation. As always, Trump was totally wrong and lied in a self-serving way.
The Iranian people know that the U.S. and England overthrew their elected democracy in 1953 and installed a brutal dictator in order to serve British oil company interests. The U.S. still covets Iran’s oil. The U.S. is subservient to the governments of Israel and Saudi Arabia, both of whom oppose Iran.
Political protest rallies for better democracy, human rights, etc., typically occur in Tehran and other big cities. But these recent (Dec. 2017 – Jan. 2018) protest rallies occurred in the country’s far NE corner, the most conservative area, where the hardliners oppose the current moderate leader Rouhani and want the hardline theocratic leaders to return to power. This is NOT the kind of “regime change” that Trump claimed people were demanding. Also, some of the protesters were calling for a return to monarchy with the dictatorial Shah’s son to run the nation.
Clearly, these recent protests were not organized by the people who — since the 1970s — have been protesting for better democracy and human rights. These are people on the other side who oppose Rouhani’s moderation.
These protests began in the city of Mashhad, which is a holy city for Shi’a Muslims and a source of power for the hardline religious right wing.
Trump’s hostility toward Iran is frightening away possible investments from other nations and causing Iran’s economic problems to worsen. The nation is still suffering from the results of the 1980-1988 Iraq-Iran War, in which the U.S. (Reagan Administration) overtly supported Iraq’s Saddam Hussein against Iran.
Most Iranians are unhappy with political gridlock and unjust social policies. These problems and the public opposition to them go back to the Islamic republic’s origin in 1979, when people nonviolently overthrew the Shah’s brutal dictatorship, but hardline religious zealots created the new government and dominated the nation’s politics. Consistently, the Iranian people have much preferred nonviolent protest rather than the kind of violence that appeared in the recent anti-government protest rallies. The violence in these protests shows that they were not grounded in Iran’s legitimate movement for human rights.
Who is fomenting the violence? Who benefits by it?
Trump’s propaganda deceives the American people. Mainstream U.S. media are generally clueless. The Iranian people’s legitimate concerns for human rights and democracy have been hijacked by small undemocratic segments that have agendas that are not really for human rights and democracy.
To understand Iran properly, we need to find reliable, authentic sources.