ID : N-998 Date : 2018/01/08 - 10:15
(Persia Digest) – After the passing of 12 days of protests nationwide in Iran, relative calm has returned to its cities. Some members of the opposition believe that protests have died down in smaller cities due to a lack of internet connection and access to social networks. Nevertheless, it seems the volume and intensity of protests has waned in total; although, peaceful silent marches are taking place.
In the meantime, it seems that currently the domestic and international sidelines of the protests are more the focus of attention. Yesterday, the ministers of Intelligence and Interior, together with the deputy to the IRGC commander and the head of Iran's broadcasting IRIB, were present in the Islamic Consultative Assembly [Parliament] to discuss the recent incidents with MPs.
MP Jalal Mirzaei commented: “The Minister of Intelligence believes a number of factors contributed to the protests taking place simultaneously, and it cannot be said that the unrests were solely guided from outside Iran.”
Quoting the Minister of Intelligence, Mirzaei said: “Protests began in Mashhad due to certain political currents that quickly lost their grip on the situation. Also, Friday Prayer Imams played a role in these events by stressing on the country’s disappointments and shortcomings over the years.”
As reported by Persia Digest, unofficial sources name the opposition in Iran as the source of unrests in the city of Mashhad.
On the international scene, the German Foreign Minister has said talks may take place between Federica Mogherini, EU Foreign Policy Chief, and Iran’s top diplomat, Javad Zarif, to discuss the situation in the country. Sigmar Gabriel stated that the EU will be extending an invitation to Iran’s FM to talk about the recent protests. Sigmar Gabriel stressed, however, that Germany will not follow in the footsteps of Donald Trump who has said he will help Iranians “to take back” their government.
In reaction to this news, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said: “Certain media, especially in Israel, have tried to make headlines about this. But this is unfounded.” He reiterated: “Based on talks carried out, we agreed to hold a consultative meeting between Iran and three EU member states about the JCPOA nuclear agreement due to its importance and the US destructive moves to decertify it.”
On Sunday, 7 January 2018, Mike Pompeo, serving as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), denied the involvement of the agency in Iran protests. In an interview with Fox News, he said that the people of Iran came into the streets to protest the rising costs of living. He also claimed that the unrests have not settled yet, and added: “It was the Iranians who started, and continued, everything. They seek to improve their living standards and separate their political and religious systems."
As reported by Persia Digest, Iran's Attorney General, Mohammad Javad Montazeri, had said earlier that these developments had roots in the CIA and Mossad who led the disturbances.