DAMASCUS, SYRIA ( 04:05 PM) – Live broadcasts from Iran show large manifestations in support of the Islamic Republic and the Tehran government taking place all over the country.
The mass demonstrations, reportedly drawing tens of thousands supporting the Iranian government and system, come in reaction to a week of anti-government protests and rallies by opponents of the islamic system of governance that have left at least 21 people dead over the course of past week, both protesters and security forces alike.
The unrest originally started as discontent over rising food prices, cost of living and high unemployment numbers, grievances that have been brought up and officially supported by several Iranian politicians and clerics since, but soon spiraled out of control as a core of radical anti-government activists took over.
Iranian television outlets state that pro-government counter-demonstrations are going on in at least 10 cities, including Ahvaz, Kermanshah and Gorgan, where supporters held aloft pictures of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei and chanted slogans like “Leader, we are ready” and “Down with the USA”.
In an official speech on Tuesday, Ayatollah Khamenei spoke about the wave of unrest, admitting the legitimacy of the economic grievances yet condemning in strong terms those who seek to destabilize the Islamic Republic.
“Look at the recent days’ incidents,” the Leader said. “All those who are at odds with the Islamic Republic have utilized various means, including money, weapons, politics and (the) intelligence apparatus, to create problems.”
Some analysts believe that the recent radicalization of the protests in Iran are at least partially due to outside interference, a belief further strengthened by the harsh tone taken by US president Donald Trump in condemning the Islamic Republic of Iran and calling for its overthrowing.
According to reports, anti-government protests are dying down all over the country, with only limited protests having taken place in Isfahan and Tehran in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday.