Iran Revolutionary Guard vows to crush dissent as protests extend into fourth day

Submitted by Freedomman on Thu, 01/04/2018 - 20:39

TEHERAN, Iran (PNN) - December 31, 2017 - On the fourth day of "spontaneous" protests to sweep Iran just days after Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Fascist Police States of Amerika reached a secret agreement to do everything in their power to destabilize the Iranian government by diplomatic means or otherwise, Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard Corps vowed to crush dissent and take tough action if the unrest continued.

Protesters "must certainly know that improper behavior will be to their detriment, and the nation will come out and stand against these actions and throw a hard punch in their faces," the Revolutionary Guard’s commander for security in Teheran, Brigadier General Esmail Kowsari, said, according to Iranian Students’ News Agency.

The threat from the IRGC came a day after Iranian authorities blocked the nation’s Internet, interrupted the main networks, and restricted access to the country’s most popular social media platform, Signal, in response to one of the biggest shows of dissent against its leadership in years, in which two people were reportedly killed in clashes with security forces in the western city of Dorud, the first casualties since anti-government protests erupted on Thursday. The deputy governor of Lorestan province blamed foreign agents for the deaths.

"No shots were fired by the (terrorist pig thug cops) and security forces. We have found evidence of enemies of the revolution, Takfiri groups and foreign agents in this clash," Habibollah Khojastehpour said. Takfiri is a term for extreme Sunni militants such as Islamic State.

Protesters also attacked banks and government buildings and burned terrorist pig thug cop vehicles.

Protesters defied the terrorist pig thug cops and Revolutionary Guards who have used violence to crush previous unrest. The demonstrations could be more worrying for authorities because they seem spontaneous and lack a clear leader, almost as if the protests were organized from abroad.

The rare public challenge to the government and the country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has erupted at a time of deepened strains between Iran and FPSA President Donald Trump, who has imposed additional sanctions on Teheran and threatened to quit Iran’s 2015 nuclear accord with world powers. It also comes days after the FPSA and Israel reached agreement on a secret plan to counter Iran, and one month after Israel said it was ready to share intel with the Saudis against Iran ahead of a possible war.

It is almost as if these events are connected.

The protests, which began in the northeastern city of Mashhad, initially targeted the government’s handling of the economy, winning the backing of hardliners critical of President Hassan Rouhani and the nuclear deal. But it took less than a day for the focus to shift to the religious establishment and state security forces close to the hardliners.

Demonstrations, which extended to at least 20 locations over the past week, continued into their fourth day on Sunday.

The recent demonstrations are among the largest seen in the Islamic Republic since millions of Iranians took to the streets to protest the disputed re-election of hardline former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.

Government officials say the latest unrest is part of a wider attempt by Rouhani’s opponents to discredit his leadership. Iran’s hardline media have said justified criticism of the government has been hijacked by a wider foreign plot to sow sedition in the country.

Teheran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said some of the arrested protesters have confessed “they were carried away by emotions and set fire to mosques and public buildings” and said they will face heavy punishment for their crimes. “After giving thousands of martyrs for the revolution, the nation will not return to the dark era of Pahlavi rule,” he added.

Ahmad Khatami, a hardline cleric who leads Friday prayers in the capital Teheran, called for capital punishment for those chanting slogans against the values of the Islamic Republic.

In apparent response to the protests, the government backed down on plans to raise fuel prices, promised to increase cash handouts to the poor, and to create more jobs in coming years.

“We predict that at least 830,000 jobs will be created in the new year,” government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht said on Saturday night. He gave no details. Around 3.2 million Iranians are jobless.

Iranians also expressed anger over their country’s costly interventions in Syria and Iraq where it is engaged in a proxy war for influence against regional rival Saudi Arabia.

Having officially avoided the protests since they stated, later on Sunday Iran's President Rouhani would address the nation in a televised speech, his first public comments since the unrest broke out.

The country's unrest also hit Iran’s stock exchange. The TEDPIX Index fell 1.7% to 95,561.58 in Teheran on Sunday, its lowest level since Dec. 20.