Isn’t the man in charge of the CIA’s Iran operations taking a serious interest in the latest events in Iran? Surely he is. That’s his job, isn’t it?
BY ROBERT FISK, 4 JANUARY 2017
Most of us know the extremely rare but slightly creepy feeling of driving down a road or seeing a hill or listening to a conversation and being overcome by the absolute conviction that we’ve seen it or heard it before. Perhaps in an earlier incarnation. Or maybe just a few years ago, though we may not be able to place the experience in a time frame. It took me quite a while before a trusted friend was able to pinpoint why I found Iran’s latest miniature street revolution so weird. And so familiar. And so chilling.
Let’s run through the sequence of events. A large number of young, disenfranchised and poor/unemployed young people take to the streets of a Middle East nation to complain about their poverty, the corruption of the regime, their own lack of freedom – and quickly, they turn against their own leaders. Perfectly justified. But within days, guns are being used against opponents of the government which both claims the people’s right to freedom of speech but warns that those who use violence will pay the price. At least 21 – two of them members of the security forces – are killed as protestors respond to the shoot-to-kill tactics of the governments’ armed supporters.
The most powerful leader – supported by state militias – complains that the unrest is fomented by foreigners, traitors, spies. The most senior leader in the state puts it all down to “money, weapons, politics and intelligence services”. America, Britain and Saudi Arabia are named as the principal suspects. And then vast pro-government crowds – dwarfing in numbers (if not in enthusiasm) the demonstrators, march in their hundreds of thousands to condemn the street protests, holding pictures of their beloved leaders above their heads. The regime calls the protests “finished”.
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