Iranian people’s uprising is against Khamanei

Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei (Wikipedia)

Iran was on fire last week. Since November 14th protests against the regime were taking place in big parts of the country. The Internet was shut down by the regime, so that their thugs could beat and kill demonstrators. Initially the protestors took to the streets to protest over the hiked price of gas and later over the regime itself. By the time the internet was partially restored a week later, the horrible footages of relentless butchering and beating of the people emerged on social media. The number of dead protesters according to Amnesty is 143, but unofficial reports talk of up to 200 dead. More than 1000 people are said to have been arrested. A senior commander of Iran’s revolutionary guard, Admiral Ali Fadavi, has urged the country’s judiciary to mete out harsh sentences to what he described as “mercenaries” involved in protests. Iranian hardliner newspaper Kayhan last week demanded that prisoners be executed.

But here in Europe the main focus has been, and continues to be, on President Trump and his sanctions on Iran. The media parrots the regime’s narrative about the US wanting a regime change. A good example is France24English’s debate on November 18th or the interview of Iranian activist Masih Alinejad with the German Deutche welle on November 24th. Ever since Mr. Trump became the president of the United states, I have been reading about him on European news outlets, hearing about him on podcasts and seeing him on television. Even on the days when the media does not have anything important to write about him like the recent impeachment case, there are headlines reporting on his tan or his hair, and some even diagnosed him as close to being “insane”. It has become ridiculous, at times absurd and funny.

But It stopped being funny when I saw that the media in Europe, instead of reporting about Iranian people who are dying on the streets while demanding their basic rights, have got another excuse to talk about President Trump again. They need to stop this nonsense. It is not only irrelevant; it is disrespectful when Iranians are being butchered. The Trump administration has inflicted one of the harshest sanctions ever imposed on Iran, which takes its toll on Iran’s economy. But It has stated on numerous occasions that it does not want a regime change in Iran; not even when Iran shot down a spanning American drone worth millions of dollars in the strait of Hormoz in June, not even when Iran was involved in missile attacks on Saudi oil installations in Aramco a couple of months ago and not even when Iran was sabotaging and taking ships hostages in the Persian Gulf this summer. The Trump administration has asked Iran to be a “normal country”.

The administration has left the so-called nuclear deal JCPOA because of Iran’s ballistic missile program and because according to the US administration it was a bad deal. The recent revelations on suspicious activities on an Iranian site by International atomic agency IAEA shows that Iran has not been faithful to the nuclear deal agreed on Obama’s watch. This proves the US administration’s point that the nuclear deal was indeed a bad deal. The US has presented a 12-point deal to Iran in order to take the sanctions off.  Even at the outset of this year’s G7 summit in Biarritz France, President Trump was ready to cast aside other conditions and agreed to only three points of the 12 points deal. This happened when President Emmanuel Macron started meddling between the two countries.

Iran said no. The Iranian regime does not seem to want to set aside its meddling in the Middle East, which includes its Shiite expansionism in Syria, in Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and the ongoing war rhetoric on the state of Israel. Neither does it want to set aside its nuclear ambitions – something that seems superfluous for one of the most oil-rich countries in the world.

The Iranian regime wants to continue its warmongering and it has found a way to do so under the JCPOA agreement. Interestingly, most Iranians, who have been taken hostage by the ideological regime for decades, also do not want the Iranian regime’s warmongering and meddling in other countries which have cost dem billions of dollars. They are like a neglected child that asks the parents to pay attention to them at home instead of spoiling other kids on the block.

During the recent protests in Iran, they chanted “No to Gaza, no to Lebanon” and “We give our lives for Iran.” They demanded attention be paid to “them” and stated that they don’t care about the Palestinian case being repeatedly thrown at them by the regime. They chanted “our enemy is not US, our enemy is here”, “Death to the dictator” and “Down with the regime.” Strangely enough, no one talks about what the Iranian people are saying on the streets in Iran. Here in Europe, they talk instead about President Trump. It is all about Trump and never about the Iranian people and the Iranian regime. Most of all, for western media it is never about Khamanei.

Iran’s neighbors are fed up with the regime’s warmongering. People in Iraq and Lebanon have been rising up in revolt against Iran since October. More than 300 people have been killed in Iraq in their uprising against the Iranian regime’s meddling in their affair and the powerful Iranian paramilitary forces. Unlike Iran, Iraq is not being sanctioned by the US, but the oil-rich country suffers the same mismanagement, unemployment, poverty and widespread corruption that we see in Iran. The same brutality that has been used against the peaceful demonstrators in Iraq has been used on the streets against Iranian people by Iranian regime’s agents. Yet what do the European news outlets talk about? President Trump.

They are turning a blind eye to the realities of people of Iran, Iraq or Lebanon and being caught up in their own obsession over President Trump. You can like or dislike him as much as you want. But It is not President Trump that is shooting tear gas canisters into the heads of innocent demonstrators in the streets of Baghdad. Nor is it President Trump who stabs and shoots deprived and poor demonstrators from behind in the streets of Iran. It is the Iranian regime and its revolutionary guard. It is time to stop this dishonesty and one-sidedness, and to begin reporting on people’s suffering.

During the regime’s 40 years of reign in Iran the Iranian people have had an uprising approximately every ten years. They were massacred in 1988, they were massacred again in 1999 and they were massacred once again in 2009 before Donald Trump was even elected as President. Iranian people have risen, been suppressed and killed, and risen again because they demand their basic rights as a nation of young, dynamic, secular and peaceful individuals. Let us not reduce their struggle for peace, welfare, harmony and basic human rights to some petty European obsession. By siding with the regime and repeating its deceitful narrative, the European media and their so-called pro-regime experts are complicit in the horror happening in Iran right now. They are simply on the wrong side.

About the Author
Iranian-Nowegian author writing about Middle East-Iran. I write for the Norwegian newspaper Nettavisen.
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