Shouting “Death to liars!” tens of thousands of students flooded the streets of Iran calling for the resignation of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei after Iran admitted to mistakenly shooting down a Ukrainian commercial airliner.
The Ukrainian Airlines plane was carrying 176 people, including 130 Iranian citizens, when it was mistaken for a cruise missile and taken down by Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) using a Russian-made missile defense system shortly after taking off from Tehran January 8.
For days, Iran claimed that the plane crashed due to mechanical failure, while at the same time refusing to hand over the airliner’s black box.
What began as a candlelight vigil for the dead quickly turned into massive protests against the regime calling for the resignation of Khamenei. Protesters could be heard shouting, “Our enemy is right here; they lie when they say it’s the U.S.!”
Isfahan right now chanting:
— Mark Halawa – مارك حلاوه (@HalawaMark) January 11, 2020
Another meaningful protest video from Iran.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC)often boast about fighting against the ISIS.
But in Iran, they impose an ISIS-style philosophy.
That’s why protesters chanted:
“Our IRGC-led government: you’re our ISIS” pic.twitter.com/O83nBGBwYq
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) January 12, 2020
“Death To Liars!” Iran Swept By Wave Of Protests Demanding Ayatollah Quit Over Airplane Downing https://t.co/Fj6Fy39UWH
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) January 11, 2020
Meanwhile, President Trump sent a message of support to the Iranian people in both English and Farsi:
To the brave, long-suffering people of Iran: I’ve stood with you since the beginning of my Presidency, and my Administration will continue to stand with you. We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2020
The Israeli Foreign Ministry tweeted (in their Farsi account) a powerful image of Iranian students refusing to walk across the American and Israeli flags:
مردم ایران از دست این رژیم تاریک و سیاستهای سرکوبگرانهاش خسته شدهاند. پیام آنها واضح و روشن است.
— اسرائیل به فارسی (@IsraelPersian) January 12, 2020
Iran Arrests British Ambassador, Recruits Suicide Bombers
Almost sparking another international incident, Iranian security forces arrested the British ambassador to Iran who was on the streets amidst the demonstrations calling for the resignation of Khamenei in front of Tehran’s Amir Kabir University. Local reports say Ambassador Rob Macaire was arrested for “organizing, provoking and directing radical actions.” Macaire was released after more than an hour in detention.
Meanwhile, the regime was busy trying to recruit university students from the prominent Islamic Azad University for suicide missions against the United States and Israel to avenge the death of IRGC Qud’s Force Commander Qasem Soleimani, assassinated by the U.S. while plotting attacks against Americans and American embassies in Iraq.
“Registration for volunteers to commit a suicide attack against the United States and Israel. Hard revenge is underway for those criminals who killed Qasem Soleimani,” the fliers state. The New York Post reports:
The flyer, claiming to quote the words of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, carries additional messages of encouragement, including “kill all infidels.”
Anyone looking to volunteer for the mission is asked to leave their first and last name, birth certificate number, education level, current occupation, phone number and fill in an area marked “tell us about your talents.”
Shameful Responses At Home
Stateside, the political Left continued its shameful apologetic of Soleimani’s killing and blaming American “adventurism” for Iran’s missile blunder. Many on the Left are even applauding Iran’s “breathtaking honesty” in admitting it was responsible for the plane crash, which came days later as the evidence became impossible to cover up.
Breathtaking honesty from Iran (albeit after three days of denials). Should note Iran is more forthcoming and frank in its apology that the US ever was over Iranian Flight 665, accidentally shot down by a US warship in 1998. And as for Russia and MH17… https://t.co/RdxGDGnJA3
— Julia Macfarlane (@juliamacfarlane) January 11, 2020
All of these distortions ignore the reality of on-the-ground Iranians protesting for a new Iran and against the regime.
How soon before Democrats start calling the protesters “White Nationalists”?https://t.co/vjXKL8S0Mj
— 𝐓𝐚𝐲𝐥𝐨𝐫 𝐃𝐚𝐲 (@TABYTCHI) January 11, 2020
Meanwhile Democrat presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren hosted a conference call for the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), which has long been accused of being a pro-Iranian regime lobby.
— MoveOn (@MoveOn) January 8, 2020
While Democrats bow to Iran and glorify the terrorist Soleimani the people of Iran are risking their life in the streets against this evil regime
Democrats in America love the Iranian regime more than Iranians do
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) January 12, 2020
U.S. Military Prowess Versus Iranian Military Incompetence
Fox News revealed in an exclusive report that U.S. Special Operations forces on the ground in Iraq followed the convoy carrying Soleimani as part of the operation to take out the terror leader. U.S. troops were about a half-mile behind the convoy when the drone strike was executed. “They were on the scene within a minute or two and performed a so-called ‘bomb damage assessment,’ taking pictures of the scene and confirming that the drone had picked out the right car — and that Soleimani was no more,” Fox reported.
The troops were able to take Soleimani’s body away from the fire, extinguish the fire and identify Soleimani. They took photos of his possessions that survived the fire, including a pistol, assault rifle, books of poetry and “wads of cash.”
As for the way the Iranian military handled the affairs, many are asking:
- Why didn’t Iran ground all flights that day of the missile launch?
WHY WERE ALL CIVILIAN FLIGHTS NOT GROUNDED?
— Ali A. Rizvi (@aliamjadrizvi) January 11, 2020
- If Iran’s military is this incompetent, how can it handle nuclear weapons?
And this nation wants a nuclear weapon? Iran clearly can’t handle the pressure of potential military confrontation responsibly. This government shouldn’t even be allowed to have short range missiles. https://t.co/UNchhj1JwN
— Omar Qudrat (@omarqudrat1) January 11, 2020
The fact is Iranian military is not well trained, which circles back to what Mideast analysts have been saying about a possible direct confrontation between the U.S. and Iran: Iran is not capable of directly engaging the U.S. in the battlefield, which is why it largely relies on proxy wars.
Meanwhile, as the new cycle picks up with every-increasing speed, here are the latest developments we’ve observed:
- The Democrats in the House of Representative passed a war powers resolution limiting how much military action President Donald Trump can take against Iran. The resolution, which is non-binding, prohibits the president from using U.S. armed forces in situations that are hostile to Iran unless Congress approves it or declares war. The resolution also says Trump must get authorization from Congress to take any further military action against Iran.
- President Trump called out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her reaction to taking out arch-terrorist Soleimani, saying, “When I see a Nancy Pelosi trying to defend this monster from Iran who’s killed so many people … I think that’s a very bad thing for this country.”
- Following Iran’s attack on American troops in Iraq last week, the Trump administration imposed a set of new sanctions on Iran. Trump said the sanctions target eight of Iran’s top officials, as well as the construction, manufacturing, textiles and mining sectors of the country’s economy and would deny the Islamic Republic “substantial revenue” it uses to fund its “nuclear program, missile development, terrorism and terrorist proxy networks, and malign regional influence.”
- Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh was the only non-Iranian to speak at Soleimani’s funeral in Tehran. Haniyeh praised Soleimani for bringing “Palestine and the resistance … to the position they are in today in terms of power and steadfastness.”
- Other terrorists actually cheered the death of Soleimani. ISIS praised the killing in its newspaper al-Naba, calling it an act of “divine intervention” that will give the terror organization time to regroup.
- Finally, in an act of pointed timing, the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, announced he will visit Tehran today, January 12, marking the first time the emir has visited Iran since he took office in 2013.