- Published: Sunday, 08 December 2019
After the nationwide protest in November, Iranian state-run media are deceitfully defending the people, their civil rights, and their right to peaceful protest.
At the same time, they are advising the government, while recognizing the right to civil protests of the kind they want, to consider a specific place for expressing their protests.
This deceptive scheming is despite the explicit support of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and former President Mohammad Khatami for the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in killing people.
In this regard, the Arman newspaper affiliated with Rouhani’s faction writes: “In the recent events, on the one hand, citizenship and basic rights of the people to assemble and march were discussed, and in contrast, it is the government’s duty to establish order and in fact to provide the proper platform for the exercise of these rights.”
“Unfortunately, due to the neglect of the task, problems arose that its internal and external dimensions were dramatic and even beyond imagination.”
Arman's article claims that the lack of a specific place for demonstrations and protests, of course, in an ideal form for the regime, was the main problem, and if this problem was resolved, there would be no uprising.
People should express their civil demands in a quiet and cozy corner of Tehran and other metropolises, the state-run media argue. And after a few hours of protest and civil demands, what the government accepts, everything would finish with a happy ending.
The same newspaper, in another article by Mohsen Gharvian, has criticized Rouhani and other government leaders for why there was no specific location for the people’s civil protests until people took to the streets and “the rioters caused a lot of damage to the country.”
Expressing “concern” about the democracy of the people, Gharvian says: “Considering a place for meetings and protests is a matter of democracy, and democracy requires that people be able to express their opinions when they have protested.”
“Just like the recent protests that caused a lot of damage to the country, and of course the disturbance differs from the protest, and it has to be separated. Many people in recent events, their intention was not really riot and their concern was over the rising gas prices and the economic problems, poverty, and unemployment that the country is facing. They must make their voices heard by the authorities somewhere.” (Arman, 5 December)
The state-run Ebtekar newspaper also recommends “to the regime including three branches, institutions, and centers of power and decision-making”: “They should be more responsive to the wishes and demands of the people, and be open to criticizing decisions and past and present actions and provide the ground for people's voices to be heard in the media, especially the national media, because moving the country towards a single voice and dividing society into decision-makers and those who are forced to abide by them will lead to future dissatisfaction and protest.” (Ebtekar, 5 December)
One Iran watcher dismissed the state-media commentary, pointing out that the protests had nothing to do with the site of the protest, but were over substantial grievances, which the authorities seem unable to resolve.
The authorities are making such a suggestion in fear of the continuing uprising and being overthrowing by the people, the Iran watcher said, adding that this is why state media is speaking of civil rights and a place for protesting, which have been violated until now.
The problem of the people with this government and its repressive institutions has gone beyond the point of protests for civil rights and has reached an irreversible point.
This is the same fate that the editor-in-chief of the state-run newspaper Jomhouri drew for the mullahs and government officials and said: “Fear the day that the poor pour onto the streets.”
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