01/04/2018, 09.31
IRAN

Tehran: Pasdaran declare the 'end of sedition’, but tensions remain

Gen. Ali Jafari applauds the "security preparedness and people's vigilance" that led to the defeat of enemies. And he accuses monarchists, anti-revolutionaries and "enemy" forces outside Iran. But in some cities, outbreaks of tension remain. Trump continues to blow on the fire of the uprising and promises support "at the right time".

Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The "uprising" in Iran that has been going on for days, characterized by violent protests promoted by young people and forcibly repressed, causing dozens of deaths and hundreds of arrests, has been "defeated". The head of the Revolutionary Guards, or Pasdaran, Maj Gen Mohammad Ali Jafari made the announcement late afternoon yesterday, while tens of thousands of pro-government demonstrators were on the streets in defense of Tehran's political and religious leadership.

The uprising began on December 28th in the city of Mashhad and has so far counted at least 23 victims. The protests, initially against rising prices and corruption, have widened to the point of targeting the executive. They are the biggest protests since the controversial re-election of the conservative president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009. Without mentioning him directly, General Ali Jafari accused Ahmadinejad of having somehow fed the lathes of the protest, turning it into a street revolt.

"Everything happened - said the leader of the Pasdaran - after an appeal issued by a site linked to a person who today speaks against the Islamic system". Recently, the former ultra-conservative president has repeatedly criticized government officials and, in particular, the head of the judiciary Sadegh Amoli Larijani.

"Today [January 3, ed.] We can say that it is the end of the revolt of 96" continued Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, with a reference to the current year in Iran, 1396 according to the Persian calendar. "The high level of security and the surveillance of the people" have led to the defeat of "enemies", so much so that the Revolutionary Guards had to intervene in a "limited" way in only three provinces.

The General  reported that there were a maximum of 1500 people in each city and the number of protesters "did not exceed 15,000 in the whole country". He finally pointed the finger at counter-revolutionary agents, monarchists and "enemy" forces outside Iran, as inferred  - also without explicit references – by the supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in recent days.

If the leaders of the country declare the end of the uprising, some international agencies report tensions still ongoing last night, with new protests in the city of Malayer, in the western province of Hamadan. The demonstrators sang songs, including " People are begging, the supreme leader is acting like God!". Other demonstrators in Nowshahr chanted the slogan "death to the dictator".

Meanwhile, the tones of the United Nations has softened, following its initial criticism of  "the loss of human lives in the demonstrations". In the second statement released yesterday, signed by the general secretary Antonio Guterres, the invitation to "avoid violence" is renewed and the hope that all the demonstrations take place "in a calm way". And once again calls on Tehran leaders to "respect the right" of people to "meet and peacefully express freedom of expression".

In contrast, US President Donald Trump continues to blow on the embers of the revolt by renewing his appreciation for the Iranian people's choice to demonstrate, also promising US support "at the right time". In the umpteenth tweet, which seems to have become the sounding board of American foreign policy, the tycoon expressed "great respect" for the people who are trying to "regain control of their corrupt government". 

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