Iranian Officials Face Tens of Thousands of Protesters, Blame "The West"


The massive demonstrations against the theocratic, repressive Iranian government is finally getting the MSM attention it deserves. The long-brewing grassroots pushback against the very center of radical Islamic revolution is this season's story that will have major impact for years to come.

Naturally, Iranian officials are blaming the demonstrations on outside agitators, a claim that even Al Jazeera doesn't take seriously.

The Iranian foreign ministry has accused Western countries of fomenting the violence that left at least eight people dead.

Ramin Mehmanparast, the foreign ministry's spokesman, said on Tuesday that countries such as the US and UK had "miscalculated" by siding with the opposition.

Clashes broke out after police used teargas, batons, and eventually live rounds to try to disperse thousand of protesters.

Muhammad Sahimi, an Iran expert at the University of Southern California in the US, said the government's crackdown was unlikely to stop the opposition.

"If they were going to be cowed, they should have been by now," he told Al Jazeera.

"Over the past six months, violence has been used, a lot of people have been arrested, tens of people have been killed, but yet you don't see any decrease in the level of demonstrations," he said.

Sahimi said that as the government sought to suppress the movement by force, support for the opposition instead grew, expanding across the country.

"The demands have gone way beyond cancellation of elections, and now people are demanding fundamental change in the system" of government, he told Al Jazeera.

"The goal right now, is at the minimum, to weaken the position of [Iran's ] supreme leader, to make him sort of a figure head … if not outright elimination of the supreme leader, and the writing of a new constitution."

You got that? The West is twisting the arm of the Islamic Republic's goons to kill people. It all makes so much sense. More here.

Among the many miscalculations involved in invading Iraq was that it put a temporary halt to similar demonstrations and movements in Iran that were gathering momentum in the early part of the decade. But you can only keep people down for so long and the Iranian people seem to be back in force against a government that has offered nothing but ashes since taking power in the late 1970s.