By Editors of The Free Iran Herald
Updates on events unfolding in Iran
What a disappointment —Democrats just blocked a vote on a resolution supporting the Iranian protestors.
This is not the time for partisan politics. This should be a time for the US Congress to speak with one voice to condemn an Iranian regime that kills its own people.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) January 14, 2020
Since Tuesday, when the House Democrats blocked the vote on a resolution to support anti-regime protesters in Iran, Iranians have taken to Twitter to show their frustration and irritation.
Even worse, Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempted to dismiss the protests by saying that the demonstrators were only “students” angry about their friends who had died in the plane crash. Iranian activists responded to this shameful lie by launching a Twitter campaign called #NancyPelosiFakeNews
— DISSIDENT (@am70561791) January 13, 2020
— چراغی روشن! (@cheragheroshan) January 13, 2020
Is #nancypelosi was soleymani’s girlfriend?
Oh trump, you broke nancy’s heart by killing soleymani.
” Who cleans up “nancy” tears when she cry? ” 😏#NancyPelosiFakeNew #IranProtests pic.twitter.com/lRkyeZLChL
— barandazism(شاکی ثابغ)🌐 (@barandazism) January 13, 2020
One of the reasons N.Pelosi dismisses #IranProtests (counterproductive)is because Iranian regime apologists in the West have been pumping the same idea on main stream media&in well-known papers.Democrats’ve delude themselves with disinformation&now #NancyPelosiFakeNew trending. https://t.co/2tEJLJmGNG
— Raman Ghavami (@Raman_Ghavami) January 13, 2020
— 16vareth16 (@16vareth16) January 13, 2020
In response to the bombastic Al-Jazeera presenter Mehdi Hassan’s bizarre Twitter rant about the president’s racism and bigotry, one Iranian activist wrote:
— n a z a n i n (@nazanin7) January 13, 2020
— داون آندر (@D0wn_Under) January 14, 2020
The most recent episode of nationwide protests across Iran, that began on Saturday in response to the regime’s admission that its Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps had shot down a civilian international airliner, continued into this week. The IRGC, and its Basij paramilitary, ferociously attacked the mass manifestations of the Iranian populace, as is their custom, and many examples of brutal violations of human rights were recorded and posted online.
Monday, January 13th, saw demonstrations continuing in multiple Iranian cities. Here, students at Tehran’s Sharif University of Technology repeated their chant of “They killed our geniuses and replaced them with clerics!”
In other spots, the people confronted the regime forces sent out to disperse them and clashes erupted.
No more merely watching and filming!
The time that people stood idly with a mobile in their hand, watched, and just filmed the violence of the Basij militia is over! Now our fists are our weapon!
We will reclaim Iran.
— Mitra Jashni (@JashniMitra) January 14, 2020
In Dezful, in the south-western province of Khuzestan, crowds went on the offensive and stormed a Basij base, while in the northern city of Semnan, people, led by women, burned down the office of supreme leader Ali Khamenei’s local representative.
This footage leaked now shows people of #Dezful raiding an #IRGC‘s #Basij paramilitary base in protest against #Iran‘s Islamic Regime over shot-down of Flight #PS752 by #IRGC. Video is recorded two nights ago.#IranProtests2020 pic.twitter.com/2qqVncVFKo
— Babak Taghvaee (@BabakTaghvaee) January 15, 2020
Tuesday, January 14th, brought more protests. Students at Tehran University began to demonstrate, and masses of ordinary citizens joined them, into the evening. The IRGC responded heavily, and scenes of Guardsmen beating people were recorded, before the regime cut off Internet and mobile phone access. Universities were raided, and intense gunfire was heard around Tehran.
#BREAKING: People in #Tehran are gradually gathering in streets around #Tehran university to join the students in #IranProtests2020 against #Iran‘s Islamic Regime tonight. Protesters want #IranRegimeChange & prosecution of dictator #Khamenei.#IranProtests #PS752 pic.twitter.com/vv7BC5pybd
— Babak Taghvaee (@BabakTaghvaee) January 14, 2020
Islamic regime’s thugs brutally beat a protesters in Tehran.This is how regime treats its own ppl.@FareedZakaria,you give platform for terrorists like Marandi and Zarif mouthpieces like @tparsi, but never cover opposition activists. It’s a shame! pic.twitter.com/1viLqRX7Tf
— 🥈بامداد (@bamdad_azad) January 14, 2020
Confirmed: Nationwide internet disruption registered in #Iran as of 5:25 pm local time (13:55 UTC); real-time network data show high impact to almost all providers; incident duration 10 minutes 📉📈 #Internet4Iran pic.twitter.com/a5oeQucvoh
— NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) January 14, 2020
#BREAKING (Unconfirmed): #IRGC‘s #Basij militias have attacked #AmirKabir university campus tonight. Internet & landline is cut & cellphones are jammed! Rumor about explosion & gunshots! It is not clear if the rumors are created by #IRGC for PSYOPS or are true!#IranProtests2020 https://t.co/KL56P74nCk pic.twitter.com/pTORw9UnB6
— Babak Taghvaee (@BabakTaghvaee) January 15, 2020
Protests went on despite the heavy crackdown. Wednesday, in Esfahan, the funeral of some of the victims who died when the Ukrainian airliner was brought down erupted into an anti-regime protest. Tehran University students, meanwhile, held a sit-down strike on Thursday to protest in support of their colleagues who were arrested and detained.
#Isfahan, two hours ago. Watch brave Iranians protesting against #Iran‘s Islamic Regime during funeral of passengers of Flight #PS752 which was shot-down by #IRGC.#IranProtests2020 #IranProtests pic.twitter.com/c9Jz3pNDa9
— Babak Taghvaee (@BabakTaghvaee) January 16, 2020
In Mahabad, at the funeral of one of the victims, family members pulled off the Khomeinist flag from the victim’s coffin, saying it is an illegitimate flag.
Families of #UkrainianAirlines victims reject the “Islamic Republic” flag on their loved one’s casket and tear it off. The #Iranian people in general feel that the illegitimate flag with the crablike insignia represents 40 years of tyrannypic.twitter.com/pbDeGAwF0r
— Reza Behrouz (@RBehrouzDO) January 15, 2020
Large protests also occurred in the northwestern city of Sanandaj.
“Death to the dictatorship.”#Iranians mourning victims of flight Ukraine 752 denounce the dictator Khamenei, who holds ultimate responsibility for his regime’s murder of innocent #Iranians on board the doomed plane.
Sanandaj, #Iran. pic.twitter.com/zkiH1zGrYM
— Alireza Nader (@AlirezaNader) January 16, 2020
Thursday, January 15.
Burial ceremony for the Ukraine plane crash victims.
— Freedom for Iran (@FreedomforIran5) January 16, 2020
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his staff have continued to express their support for the Iranian people, calling out the Khomeinist regime for its tyranny.
The regime is losing legitimacy every day. The Ayatollah should listen to his own people, the world is listening.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) January 16, 2020
Protests erupted across #Iran this past weekend. The Iranian people took to the streets to demand accountability from the corrupt ruling regime. Iranians denounced the regime’s efforts to sow hatred toward the United States, noting that their real enemies were at home. pic.twitter.com/m9TXn0HlKk
— Department of State (@StateDept) January 16, 2020
Iran has a rich history of human rights from the time of Cyrus up until the 1979 revolution. The Iranian people have suffered from a regressive regime and deserve a brighter future. pic.twitter.com/LN1VRcfApl
— Department of State (@StateDept) January 15, 2020
Iranian Opposition Figure: “Khamenei Is Panicked”
In an interview with Israel’s i24TV, Iman Foroutan, leader of the Iran Liberation Congress, showed the video above of protestors in Dezful attacking the Basij base, and said that “it’s very significant. It shows the people are fighting back.” Foroutan then discussed the preparations Khamenei is making for the Friday prayers he has announced he will lead this week, for the first time in years, a sign that implies, in Foroutan’s view, that Khamenei knows how hated he is and is doing everything to rally his last supporters together.
Foroutan then mentioned the disappointment that Iranians felt when Nancy Pelosi blocked the resolution in support of their protests, pointing out that a similar resolution to support demonstrations in Hong Kong passed Congress a few weeks ago with a wide bipartisan vote.
Regime Harassing Plane Crash Victims Families, but Canada gives Tehran a Pass
According to reports from Iran, the regime is silencing families of those killed in the Ukrainian airliner crash, banning them from talking to reports or holding public mourning ceremonies. Family members have also been informed that they will not receive the remains of their loved ones if they violate these rules. This development comes after the mother of an Iranian-Canadian publicly called on Canadian government officials to help her obtain justice.
1/See how mother of an Iranians-Canadian who got killed in #UkrainianPlane desperately calling on Canadian officials to help her.
For the safety reason I cannot mention the name of her son but the family told me that Ministry of intelligence warned them not to talk to journalists pic.twitter.com/F58mixXrQo
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) January 12, 2020
Despite this harassment, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not rebuke the regime for its behavior towards the Canadian citizens and residents he is charged with protecting, but instead, in an interview on Monday, lay the blame for the entire situation at the feet of the United States. Trudeau bizarrely claimed that the plane would not have been shot down had it not been for the Trump administration placing sanctions on Tehran. Iranian-Canadians have long been disappointed by Justin Trudeau’s willingness to appease the Khomeinist regime.
LILLEY: Trudeau effectively blames Trump for Iran shooting down plane – Toronto Sun I have been quoted here 👇 @JustinTrudeau is wrong! He has no idea what #IRGC is capable of. Trudeau is naive and misinformed! https://t.co/Kk6JNDjEPN
— Avideh Rafaëla Motmâenfar (@AvidehM) January 14, 2020
It is worth noting that while many Iranian filmmakers are banned from either making films or traveling abroad, Justin Trudeau’s brother Alexandre (Sacha) has collaborated with Islamic regime’s PressTV in producing a documentary whitewashing Tehran’s nuclear program.
Iran’s Crown Prince to the American People: The Iranian People are “Asking for Your Support”
On Thursday, January 15th, the well-regarded American think tank the Hudson Institute hosted a Q&A discussion between Iran’s Crown Prince, Reza Pahlavi, and Hudson scholar Dr. Michael Doran. In this hour-long talk, Pahlavi, whose name is the one most chanted by protestors on the streets of Iran, made several key points.
He gave a brief outline of the regime’s four-decade long history of terrorism and tyranny, noting that “this regime…has never been transparent. It has never been honest. It has proven time and again that it’s willing to sacrifice the lives of millions of Iranian people just to maintain itself in power.”
Pahlavi went into much detail regarding how close the Khomeinist regime is to imploding, and that the Iranian opposition has been working on a transition plan to move Iran from theocracy to democracy in a fast and peaceful manner once the regime is gone. However, this final push to bring it down will require help from the Western democracies. “We are very close to getting there, but we need every ounce of encouragement and support. The people of Iran need to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. They need to have hope that they won’t be abandoned because they have already braved and risked their lives with no support whatsoever. Imagine what they can do if they start having real support for a change beyond rhetoric – beyond rhetoric.”
The Crown Prince also reprimanded the international media for not giving the same coverage to Iranian protests as they have to protests in places such as Venezuela and Hong Kong, while gently reminded his listeners that the cause of Iranian freedom should be a moral issue, one not subject to partisan politics. “I think that the most important thing for all of us Iranians is that Iran should not be a matter of partisan politics. It is about freedom. It is about human rights. And it is not an exclusive privilege of the Democratic or Republican Party to opine on that. That’s why we expect Americans, regardless of which side of the aisle they are in their own domestic politics, not to make Iran an issue of partisan politics. That’s the first thing we expect as a nation.”
Michael Doran retorted to that statement by asking, “Did you hear that, Democrats?”
Starts at minute 11:10