Over the last few days, protests have erupted right across the Iranian nation. From economic hardship to religious conflicts, there are a multiplicity of grievances being aired in Universities, on the streets and in the cities, and this morning we awoke to the news that 10 protesters had been killed overnight by government forces. President Rouhani, to give him his due, has publicly acknowledged some legitimate economic grievances and has reaffirmed his citizens’ constitutional right to protest and criticise the government. However, as his government barred access to social media networks such as Telegram and Instagram, Rouhani warned citizens against “revolutionary action” and defacing public property, with special mention reserved for those who may seek to damage mosques or other religious institutions.
Now on first glance, this appears to be a classic CIA “democracy spreading” operation, the like of which we are accustomed to seeing in the middle-east. Given the United States’ (and Israel’s) open hostility to the current Iranian regime, I’d be more surprised if it transpired that the US weren’t covertly supporting the protesters in some way or another. But, even as President Rouhani has admitted, not all of the protesters are those being supported by a foreign power.