Insider news & Analysis in Iran

 Friday, the Washington Post published a new analysis of the mass protests that swept the Islamic Republic of Iran beginning three weeks earlier on December 28. After spanning at least 75 and perhaps well over 100 Iranian cities, the demonstrations have been largely suppressed by the government, resulting in thousands of arrests and upwards of 50 deaths. But many observers of the protest movement have publicly stated that it is likely not at an end, but will ultimately be further enflamed by the regime’s response. To this speculation about the future, the Washington Post adds an account of the demonstrations’ roots in the country’s labor movement.

On Tuesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei issued a statement accusing regional rival Saudi Arabia of “a betrayal of the Islamic Ummah and the Muslim world.” The remarks referred to the Saudis’ longstanding alliance with the United States and also to the recent signs of emerging Saudi-Israeli cooperation in countering the perceived threat of Iranian influence in the broader Middle East.

For almost two weeks, the protests in Iran are continuing and the Iranian regime is facing a very real threat. The current protests and anti-government demonstrations are being compared to the ones that shook the country in 2009, but many say there is no comparison. This time the protests are even more widespread and many more people are participating.

On Friday, mass protests continued throughout Iran after having started the previous day in reaction to rising rates of inflation and other uncontrolled economic conditions that had contributed, for instance, to a doubling of the price of eggs in just one week’s time.

Late last week, The New Arab website reported that Iraqi military sources had seen convoys passing through their country on the way from Iran to Syria, consisting of units from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitary, which is one of numerous regional paramilitary organizations that are backed by Iran.

On Monday, US President Donald Trump presented his administration’s first National Security Strategy, a 68-page general overview of the approach that the White House intends to take in guarding against major threats to the American homeland. Initial reactions to the document suggest that there is little surprise about it contents.

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