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05 Enero 2018, 08:59 | Crisanna Felipe
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"The European position is certainly less advantageous in terms of public opinion, but it is wiser", said Francois Nicoullaud, a former French ambassador to Iran. More than 20 demonstrators have died in clashes with police, and a government crackdown has intensified in recent days with more than 450 people arrested in Tehran alone, according to news agencies. Mike Pence has been sending out his own signals, essentially in keeping with Trump's comments, and he's clearly keeping his hand in the game.
Protests erupt in Mashhad, Iran's second most-populous city in the northeast, over the high prices of basic goods. Iran's Revolutionary Guards have declared the "end of the sedition" and said that quiet has returned to the country. Regime apologists insist the Islamic Republic is strategically invulnerable and the United States must not only accept, but appease, the status quo. The Iranian government cracked down on the protesters violently and made sweeping arrests. Some people see in the protests a prelude of things to come: a power struggle over the legacy of the supreme leader Ali Khamenei. Some commentators caution against reading too much into these slogans.
In his view, he added, the best way to support Iranian civil society activists is "to try to improve the economy - not to throw oil on the fire". "Nine years ago the green movement began in Iran but they killed people in the street and it was stopped by the government".
No less prudent, indeed exigent, is the recognition that the work of democracy for Iran is the responsibility of the Iranian people themselves.
Just because the situation in Iran has momentarily calmed down, experts say the protests could happen again and have already hurt the ruling regime.
As an example, Iran has reengaged with 238 international banks after banking sanctions were lifted, but banks uncertainty about possible future sanctions have kept Iran far below the 633 banks it was engaging with back in 2006. Predictably, he blamed "enemies" of the Islamic Republic for instigating and directing activities in upward of 60 cities.
Only time will judge whether the demonstrations will destabilize Iran's autocratic government. There is nothing like losing your savings to make people rail against injustice. Others suggested that Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, should "let the country go".
"The main architect of this plan is Michael D'Andrea", Iran's chief prosecutor Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said, referring to the head of Iran's CIA desk. In September 1978, he flew by helicopter over the capital, to see about half a million people denouncing him in the streets. But he did not see a popular revolution.
The French president calls for "restraint and appeasement". It all started with an appeal posted by hardliners in the social networks.
Protest rallies large and small have been held across the country for several weeks.
None of that, however, means the country's anger has been soothed.
Although the protests have focused on economic issues, demonstrators have also voiced opposition to the government's policy of sending young Iranians to fight and die in Syria and spending billions of dollars on the military when they say the priority should be working to provide jobs in Iran and control the rising cost of living.
The time and circumstances in which all of this is happening could not be more dangerous. In Washington, the desire for regime change in Iran still burns strongly. "Donald Trumpand his allies look to benefit from the troubled waters and weaken the peoples whose countries are overflowing with wildly coveted energy resources". "I wish the Iranian people success in their noble quest for freedom", he said in the latest video.
On Dec 30, regime supporters rally around the country for officially sanctioned demonstrations to commemorate the defeat of the 2009 protest movement.
What this group does not understand is that their tactics of shouting "death to America" or fighting Imperialism and Zionism are no longer effective.
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