Despite the claim of Iranian Revolutionary Guard officials that they have squashed the protests in Iran, they are still massive. The regime is trying to stop the information about them from getting out by cutting off the social media in the country. But the protesters, who are very appreciative of the supportive words of President Donald Trump are in desperate need of communications to continue to get the word out.
From Fox News:
“Here is real hell,” a 31-year-old protest leader in Tehran, who Fox News will identify only as Azi, said in a telephone interview during the early hours of Wednesday morning. “This is a real revolution against the mullahs. Iran is uprising. I thank Mr. Trump for his support, but we need more.”
President Trump has taken to Twitter several times to note the protests in Iran, and on Wednesday morning hinted the U.S. could become more involved – in due time.
“Such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government. You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time!”
The protests were precipitated by Iran’s bad economy, pervasive corruption and the escalating cost of fuel and goods. The people also were disturbed that they hadn’t seen any of the promised benefits of the Iran Deal.
The push is mainly coming from younger Iranians who see no economic prospects and are not happy with the clerical rule of the mullahs. They organized through social media such as Instagram and Telegram.
So the government tried to stop it by shutting them down. But it’s not stopping.
“Obama betrayed the Iranian people. He gave the mullahs are ransom and cooperated with (Supreme Leader) Khamenei, he betrayed the Syrian people too. But Trump did not. So we have real expectations,” said Azi. “We want sanctions against the Iranian regime. They plundered our money. The U.S should not pay the mullahs.”
Azi said he doesn’t know the fate of friends who have been arrested in the ongoing demonstrations. But he assured they are prepared to fight until the bitter end.
“This time, even if we die, we will not stop. This is the price of freedom. We are not afraid,” he vowed. “I am a freedom fighter. Maybe tonight I will be killed.”
Fox News noted that on a recent trip to Iran there were people with multiple degrees forced to be cab drivers and waiters to survive.
“We had hope in Rouhani, much more than Ahmadinejad,” one waiter whispered. “But our lives are no better yet.”
They made it very clear that their purpose is not just economic, but it is political and they want to throw out the mullahs.
“The issue is not just economic, it is political. People will give many reasons for protesting, and all the reasons have led to us losing patience,” said Nik, a 27-year-old engineering student in Tehran.
“All the money given in the Iran deal went to expand security forces in Syria and Lebanon, all the people know this. We will continue until we overthrow this regime. We thank Mr. Trump for support, but we need all the countries not to remain silent.”
Others on the ground in Iran told Fox News most of the protest participants are “young people” – many students of universities, along with a number of high schoolers and supporters of the MEK opposition group.
Another protester, a 23-year-old communications student named Haroon, concurred the bulk of protesters were fellow students “fed up” with their dim prospects.
“Students and ordinary people are being killed and wounded police,” he insisted. “Because we tear down posters of the tyrannical leaders and we burn them. We only want happiness. We want help from the Americans to end this regime.”
After hearing the supportive words from Trump and such people as UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, it generated a lot of positive reaction in Iran. Suddenly the country famous for the government-dictated ‘Death to America!’ chants were commenting “Viva Iran, Viva USA, Viva Trump” and “proud of you president trump that strongly support the people.”
But it’s not going to come easily. At least 21 people have already been killed and hundreds arrested.
Haroon said that despite that the protests continue to grow. Nik said that women had a special role in this because they were pushing for equal rights.
There has been a debate about how involved the U.S. should be and in what way, some believing that U.S. involvement would be used against the protesters by the government against the protesters.
Some encouraged the U.S. to at least help with getting the word out with internet coverage.
Amir Fakhravar, President of the Iranian Freedom Institute, described the protesters. “They love President #Trump. They will love him more if he can do something to make sure we will have internet coverage, satellite coverage all over Iran [to get the story out].” He said it was huge, involving millions of people, but they need the coverage to be able to communicate.
Fakhravar said they could be the “army of the world” to free it from the “small group of fanatic mullahs.” If the protesters won and were able to throw out the mullahs [clerical leadership], it would change the face of the Middle East away from their extremism and export of terrorism.
Others also echoed that thought.
“President Trump needs to get behind this situation, just as we did with various regime changes in the fall of the Soviet Union,” contended James Waurishuk, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and former Trump campaign advisor. “The U.S. needs to bolster its strategic influence and public diplomacy efforts.”
According to Farjam Behnam, founder of the Iranian Affairs site IRAN ALMANAC, President Trump’s support is “widely appreciated, but people need practical action.”
“Free high-speed internet would be a great first step,” he said.
Former Ambassador John Bolton made a great point. If the people on the ground are calling for this help, they are the ones who know best what will help and what will harm their cause, not liberal media in the United States.
In 2009, Barack Obama was faced with the same choice. At least help with the social media. He refused and the revolution failed. He even refused to have the CIA involved in any way whatsoever.
Let’s not make that same mistake again.