The Iranian rebellion the world wants to ignore

The Iranian rebellion the world wants to ignore, by Douglas Murray.

The origins and cause of these latest protests are already contested. The regime claims foreign interference. … But most early reports indicate that protesters began by highlighting the country’s living standards.

Specifically, they complained about the government’s use of its recent economic bonus (from the lifting of sanctions) not to help the Iranian people, but to pursue wider regional ambitions. Iranian forces are currently fighting in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. This from a power whose defenders still claim is not expansionist. …

But the most striking factor is how swiftly the protests became not just critical of the government, but openly anti-regime. …

Shortly after the latest protests began, the country’s security forces, including the Ministry of Intelligence and Security, were seen photographing the events. In Iran, a regime camera is as deadly as a sniper’s sights. Only more delayed.

As in 2009, the photographs will be used by the police to arrest demonstrators and also family members unconnected with the protests. This will be followed by the torture and rape of men and women in prison by the theocratic regime’s frontmen. As after the Green Revolution, there will in due course be show trials, forced recantations and executions. This is how a police state with four decades of experience goes about its business. In 1979, the behaviour of the Shah’s dreaded Savak secret police was one of the spurs for revolution. The Ayatollahs have superseded the Savak, fine-tuned their brutality and learned from their mistakes. …

Six hundred people have already been arrested and dozens already killed. The civilians don’t stand a chance.

Unless, that is, the outside world takes any interest in their plight. In the early hours of the demonstrations, the US President took to Twitter to warn the Iranian authorities that ‘The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!’ …

But the world may watch in silence. … The leader of the opposition is not normally silent when there is an opportunity to talk about unfairness or injustice. Yet after days of protests in Iran, Jeremy Corbyn said nothing.

Elsewhere the silence indicates the dream-puncturing of an entire political class. … Europe’s leading foreign affairs ideologue needs Iran’s governing status quo to stay in place so that nothing about her own deal, future cash prize or putative Nobel award is in any way disturbed. …

For some people in the West — notably the Iranian regime’s paid and unpaid defenders — the mission right now will be to defend and otherwise cover for the regime. They will point out that the House of Saud isn’t at all nice: as though that is contested, or presently relevant.

hat-tip Stephen Neil