Thousands of Iranians rallied in Tehran in support of the Ayatollah regime after the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps managed to forcefully subdue nationwide anti-government demonstrations over the country’s failing economy that quickly turned violent.
Internet service is slowly returning after being blocked last week. The denial of access to telecommunications was used to effectively thwart communication between anti-government protesters and to prevent reporting abroad of the alleged commission of atrocities.
Images that have gradually emerged, however from many locations across Iran, show disturbing scenes of indiscriminate fire by Iranian security forces into crowds of anti-regime demonstrators. According to Amnesty International, which has closely monitored the developments, “more than 140 Iranian protesters have been killed in five days of demonstrations,” while “more than 1,000 others have been arrested by the clerical authorities.” The humanitarian watchdog organization further stated that “verified videos show (Iranian) security forces deliberately shooting unarmed protesters from a short distance, (and) in some cases, protesters were shot while they were running away.”
Speaking to thousands of supporters of the clerical establishment at the Enghelab Square in the Iranian capital, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) General Hossein Salami declared victory over an “international plot” that sought to “defeat the nation of Iran,” in an apparent effort to convince the public the forceful crackdown was in fact a legitimate measure against foreign adversaries. “The war that started in our streets these days, was a complete international plot,” said Salami, adding “This war is over. You (the people) acted precisely.” Rejecting widespread reporting the unrest was sparked by rising fuel prices, he insisted that “the enemy,” implying the United States and Israel, “was seeking to defeat the nation of Iran.”
As pro-regime demonstrators set fire to British and Israeli flags and chanted routine slogans calling for the destruction of the U.S. and Israel, the IRGC commander vowed to annihilate the Jewish State. “I tell the Zionists: Do not wait for the U.S. Do not rely on them. They always come late. Take care of yourselves,” he proclaimed, saying “They will arrive after you are destroyed. It will be too late.”
The Iranian General also seized the opportunity to emphasize the Islamic Republic’s resolve to exact revenge for the repeated Israeli attacks against his nation’s assets across the Middle East. “We chase them (the enemies) everywhere they go, and we tell them we are not going to leave any (of their) moves unanswered and unrevenged,” he declared, stressing “We will owe to no power. We will settle our credits. Await us. We will define its date and quality.”
Many activists at the rally gave vocal support to the regime’s narrative of so-called “foreign conspiracies,” while also expressing frustration over the country’s failing economy. Reuters cited one unnamed Iranian saying, “People have complaints, but they do not want rebellion, riot or destruction. That (destruction) was organized by people from alien espionage services who infiltrated amongst the people.” Another pro-regime activist identified as Jahanshahi claimed the recent turmoil was designed by the nation’s enemies “to weaken our country” and that “staging these operations is their approach.” He added his hope “the people to act more consciously and sharply,” underscoring that “I want them to know that the main reason behind their problems is that Iran has become more powerful in the Middle East.