Knowing the truth of what is going on inside Iran is very difficult considering the blackout imposed by the Iranian authorities on the events and the prevention of media communication with the outside, as well as the control of the regime and the Revolutionary Guard over all Iranian media and the imposition of tight control on all means of social communication by blocking many of them and activate only those that controlled by the Iranian security services. This calls for scrutiny, analysis and finding alternative sources and methods through which to interpret what is happening in Iran and access to the truth away from the disinformation and obscurantism of the media followed by the regime and its security services every time the country is swept with conditions or events such as the current ones amid the escalating protests and demonstrations against the Iranian regime and its government and their expansion to include many Iranian cities.
Therefore, relying on the Iranian media to reach and analyze information in order to find out what is happening inside Iran is not enough and misleading, because most of them are operated by the Iranian regime and its security services and their news and reports aim to manipulate the truth. For instance, Tasnim News Agency of the Revolutionary Guard published a report on the geographical areas where social media activists called for to public demonstrations in Iran. The report said that 26% of those are Iranian nationals while the rest are Arabs and foreigners from outside Iran, a claim that can be completely contested as the invitations posted through social media were all in Persian, and everyone knows that only Iranian people who know Persian, and only a little outside Iran who is specialized in the Persian language as this is a weak language and not adopted as a universal language.
This means that the best way to know the truth in Iran is to monitor Iranian activists on social media platforms, especially on Telegram, the most widely used in Iran, and analyze the images and videos published by those activists. These are the most credible channels through which we can interpret and analyze what is really happening in Iran.
What is going on now in Iran is a popular protest against the failure of the regime and its successive governments in running the country, and the spread of the unbearable economic and social problems, and that have paved the way for a revolution in Iran, a country that is rich in natural resources, oil and gas, while the people there suffer from extreme poverty, widespread unemployment and a deterioration in social and living conditions!
Some analysts see that these demonstrations and protests are fabricated by the regime and the Revolutionary Guard against Rouhani, in order to weaken him and his reformist current and to reduce its grassroots. However, slogans in the streets by the demonstrators against the Revolutionary Guard and its interventions in the region, as well as attacking Khamenei himself, who was described as a dictator, weakened this analysis and proved that what in Iran is a popular revolution that resulted from internal irritation that led citizens to seize the opportunity to express their opinion and severe anger from the policies of the regime.
Observers of the current situation in Iran know very well that although these protests are modest, they are the beginning of a mass popular revolution that will inevitably come, especially as the reasons behind these protests are the deterioration of the internal situation and the external interventions, which will increase in 2018 after the adoption of the general budget of the state in which the aid to the poor was reduced while increasing the budget of religious, revolutionary and military institutions, especially the activities of the Revolutionary Guard and the Quds Force and its interventions in the region, which the demonstrators have launched slogans against in more than one Iranian city so far.
The demonstrations in a number of Iranian cities including the capital Tehran, in conjunction with what the Iranian regime calls “Epic 9D,” the demonstrations launched by the regime and the Revolutionary Guard in 2009 after the outbreak of the so-called Green Revolution events in a protest of rigging of elections for the benefit of hardliner Ahmadinejad, and the boldness of slogans which reached Vali-e-Faqih, “death to the dictator” and all government institutions, and the continued demonstration despite the deaths toll and the Revolutionary Guard’s live bullets and the threat of the security services to suppress demonstrations and eliminate them, all of that indicate that Iran is heading towards a change in the near future.
Al Mezmaah Studies & Research Centre
2 January 2018