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US Publicly Backs Iran Protests As Khamenei Says Crackdown On “Thugs” Coming

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

It took Washington all of two days to jump behind the large popular protests over gas price hikes which gripped cities across Iran since Friday. Over the weekend the US State Department predictably came out in favor of more protests, in a volatile situation in the sanctions-ravaged country which has already witnessed multiple demonstrators killed and over a thousands arrested, and banks and gas stations torched in anger over soaring gas prices.

Given Uncle Sam is all too eager to hijack any Iranian domestic protests for the purpose of ‘regime change’ in what’s currently a middle and lower class driven movement over the deteriorating economic situation and drastic change in policy which saw petrol subsidies suddenly slashed, this could be the very recipe which brings the unrest to a halt. Ayatollah Khamenei already labeled those behind vandalism and sabotage as “thugs” and described them as “counter-revolutionary” forces, in reference to Iran’s ‘Islamic revolutionary’ government.

US Publicly Backs Iran Protests As Khamenei Says Crackdown On "Thugs" Coming

Central Bank In Behbahan, Iran being engulfed in flames as demonstrators chant.

The Islamic Republic’s clerics and political leaders will now no doubt paint the crowds in the streets as being the servants of US and Israeli imperial aggression and interference. But then again, considering that the Trump administration established a special CIA unit reportedly named the ‘Iran Mission Center’ — with an express purpose to facilitate US-driven political change in the country — the mullahs might not be too far off the mark in their paranoia and suspicions at any “spontaneous” uprising.

“The proud Iranian people are not staying silent about the government’s abuses,” Pompeo said in a statement published Sunday, saying that “the United States is with you,” and will stand against Iran’s “tyranny.” The statement said further, “We condemn the lethal force and severe communications restrictions used against demonstrators” and described the unrest as a “Cautionary tale of what happens when a ruling class abandons its people and embarks on a crusade for personal power and riches.”

Protests and clashes with police began Friday when petrol prices suddenly rose by at least 50% after government subsidies on it were slashed. Government statements said the plan is to divert the funds in order to make cash payments to low-income households.

The AP reported that while at the start of this week drivers were allotted up to 250 liters a month at the pump at at a controlled 10,000 rials per liter, as of Friday that changed drastically to an allowance of 60 liters (or 13 gallons) of petrol a month at 15,000 rials ($0.13; £0.10) a liter. Additional liters after that cost 30,000 rials.

Khamenei in a speech on Sunday defended the move: “If the heads of the three branches of the government make a decision [about it], I will support,” he said. “The decision must be implemented.”

Banks filmed up in flames over the weekend in a serious escalation:

Khamenei blamed opponents and foreign enemies for “sabotage” after multiple banks and gas stations were torched over the weekend. He described that,”The counter-revolution and Iran’s enemies have always supported sabotage and breaches of security and continue to do so.”

“Setting a bank on fire is not an act done by the people. This is what thugs do,” Khamenei said.

The top cleric further signaled a severe crackdown is coming as protests were reported to have hit 100 cities across the country of 80 million people.

Meanwhile, new video emerging from Monday protests and clashes with police appears to show some incidents of security forces using ‘live fire’ to disperse the crowds.

In some places gas prices have jumped to as much as 300% compared to what they were before last Friday.

While protests began on Friday, they appeared to get more confrontational by Saturday, as police were filmed using riot control measures against crowds, and with some reports of deadly force being used by police, as has been the case over the past month in neighboring Iraq.

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  • Assad must stay (gr8rambino)

    God please kill, remove, destroy, annihilate every single enemy of Iran, every single Zionist , wahhabist piece of garbage taking up room on this planet

    • Free man

      The mullahs regime is the biggest enemy of the Iranians.

  • chris chuba

    250 to 60 liters means a reduction to 15 gallons a month is pretty tight if you are just trying to eliminate smuggling. Truck drivers are going to use a lot more than that which is bad for transportation. I’m sure smuggling is a real issue made worse by us but I think Iran is trying to react to more stress then they are letting on.

    Russia / China have to stop being so insular. If Iran falls into chaos you are next. China look at Hong Kong. Take the gloves off, smuggle Iranian oil; import any domestic goods they want. A destabilized Iran will make Iraq look like Switzerland.

  • Hasbara Hunter

    The AngloZioNazis are Desperate & in Panic…they are frantically trying to create Revolts everywhere in the hope they can create some Chaos…so that the AngloZioNazis & ZIONATO can step in to bring Their Order & Hypocrisy ehmm I mean Democracy…they will fail because they are suckers….

  • Mehmet Aslanak

    I have seen this movie, there is a large Kurdish population in Iran. US will establish their bases with Kurds in order to protect Kurds. Then will abandon Kurds & just continue to protect the oil.

  • Pave Way IV

    Iran’s central bank is not Rothschild-owned. I love seeing any bank go up in flames, but this seems like a strange target to attack 1) when your nation is under punishing international financial sanctions already, or 2) because of gas hikes. Seems like burning the Iranian national bank would be something western banking oligarchs would love to do, not the Iranians.

    And no better way to prove the ‘brutality’ of the regime then have a few CIA/MI6/Mossad snipers taking out protesters for real. It’s working in Iraq. I don’t see any ‘snipers’ in the last video – I see a single cop aiming and shooting something to keep the crowds running away, and then reloading another round. Kind of like you would do with a shotgun and bean bags or pepper balls. The rest of the cops hiding behind the building don’t seem too bloodthirsty.

  • Lazy Gamer

    Too much guns produced when butter is needed by 80 million people.

  • hvaiallverden

    Oh… pleeease, never forget whom is saying what, Amn Int, dont have credibility, and I dont even bother to explain why, and the attacks, means what, some few people could do just that, and I think this event is been exagerated just because of this, and to me this stinks high heaven, an spil over from the clashes in Iraq and some have taken the opertunity to do something in Iran, belive me, they have awaited to have an chanse and when it finaly came, anything, would do, they went in to create havoc, and the western MSM is echoing this, and that alone if you compare it to events in other plases witch we know is happening as we speak, witch is NOT echoned in the western MSM should tell you the rest.

    Of course sometimes again it maybe legit, and Iran have been under heavy sanctions for years, and on an wide range of products and even medicin, it will have an impackt, and people gets angry, to me, its natural, anyone would be pissed but the Iranian people must never forget whom is the cause, of this effects they feel inside Iran, the western scums and the big satan UssA.
    So, it boils down to an propaganda war and thats what we see evolving to day, and I guess in the coming days also when the Western MSM drags out their pack of eh…. exiled Iranians and the pack of royal scums to explain Iran, yeah, any used car salesman have an credibility of an saint compared to mutch of this articles you will have to read in the MSM about Iran, just notice whom is writing what.

    peace

  • Free man

    These protests span three countries. Each is unique. But one common thread connects them : The mullahs regime.