Iran’s Guard Declares Victory Over Protesters, but Signs of Dissent Remain

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps declared Sunday that the country’s unrest of recent days has been quelled. But even as the force made the declaration, there remained signs of protest on social media.

Dozens of videos of the burning of government documents have shown up online in recent days, although they couldn’t be independently verified. The video footage showed what purported to be identification cards, or in some cases a utility bill from a state-owned company, being set aflame.

In one of the videos shared on the messaging app Telegram, women are seen burning identification cards for the Basij, a volunteer militia under the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the powerful Iranian military arm that has been training and funding fighters in foreign conflicts such as Syria and Iraq. In another, a person burns a certificate with the logo of the IRGC over a metal plate outside.

Another photo showed a man’s hand holding water and electricity bills as they burned. “We do not pay any bills,” read a caption underneath the photo on a popular antigovernment Telegram channel. “This corrupt system is doomed to end.”

Some of the documents burned, including Basij identification cards, are relatively easy to obtain.

The IRGC, a force answerable only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, announced that the recent wave of dissent has been subdued, according to a statement reported on its official news website. The IRGC thanked the police, intelligence ministry and the Basij for ending the unrest, and blamed the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iranian dissidents for causing it.

 The IRGC has itself deployed forces to at least three provinces, its commander said last week.

The images of the burnings from Iran recall other acts of burnings official documents to protest government positions or policies.

During the Vietnam War in the 1960s, the burning of draft cards came to symbolize resistance to that conflict. The act—punishable with imprisonment—was often carried out in public at the height of the antiwar protest movement.

A government document is torched by an Iranian as anti-government unrest continues in the country
A government document is torched by an Iranian as anti-government unrest continues in the country

But in the videos shared by Iranians, the faces of those setting their documents on fire are never shown, and identifying details on documents have been removed or blacked out, making it impossible to tell if they are valid. Many of the people don’t speak, possibly out of fear that they could be identified by voice.

Calls went out on social media for additional street protests Sunday, but the intensity of the demonstrations, which began late last month, appears to have ebbed in recent days. State media reported demonstrations in support of the leadership across Iran on Sunday, the latest in a string of such gatherings—at least some of which state employees have been ordered to attend, according to unverified documents shared on social media.

It has been difficult to gauge the extent of the unrest. Authorities have placed restrictions on internet use and blocked the widely used Telegram, forcing protest organizers to find ways around the restrictions.

The protests in Iran began on Dec. 28, first in the northeastern city of Mashhad and later spreading to dozens of cities across the country both large and small.

While the upheaval initially focused on high inflation and unemployment—both are in the double-digits in Iran—it evolved into a broader critique of the Islamic governing system and of Mr. Khamenei, who has final say in matters of state. “Death to the dictator!” has been a common chant at the antigovernment rallies.

 

More than 20 people have died and hundreds have been arrested in the unrest, the largest since 2009, when the so-called Green Movement brought millions to the street to dispute election results that gave hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second term in office.

A police spokesman on Sunday said most of the “duped” people detained for their involvement in the protests had been released, but that the ringleaders remained in custody, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

WSJ

  • Danny Farah

    I am sure the brutal Mullahs will not let the protest continue even if it takes to wipe them out. Ayatollah Khomeini killed over 18 thousand people who were protesting his austerity rules. Now people are hungry and tired of the Bull Shit going on in Iran. A lot of these protesters are barely making it. When the last earthquake hit Iran last, the people kept waiting for help that never came. Many people are laid off. The cash subsidies are being cut off. Then they see the money going to all Iranians Militias outside of Iran and even Palestinians. On top this if you check this link about the extravagant lives of the rich kids in Iran you would be shocked to see how could these kids get away with such life styles in a conservative country like Iran. But since these Rich kids and their families support the current regime, they are immune from any punishment no matter how they behalf. Check out this link
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/rich-kids-of-tehran-iran-protests-islamic-revolution-hassan-rouhani-ali-khamenei-middle-east-a8146536.html
    You can make this up folks and you can’t blame Trump or Israel for it. If the Mossad are able and capable to stir troubles in Iran, the protest would be much more coordinated and well planned and have leaders to fall back to. But most of these protests were done on impulse and emotional grievance what these people have been suffering. So the rich are strong and so are the religious mullahs are hogging the money and power. Maybe you quelled the protest but this is going to happen again and again and again. If you don’t feed the masses then they will rebel again even if it means death. I hope the regime consider these protests as big warning and to pay attention to the plight of the people. I hope for a peaceful ending.

    • Hind Abyad

      tayyar.org/News/World/192281 via @tayyar_org

      youtu.be/uVvcO2MEqH8 via @YouTubeشهرهای مختلف

      • Rascal

        In your undying defense of the Islamic State of Iran you have picked a video that show some juvenile delinquents. You do know this does not make the prime reason for the protests go away. Poor economy and restrictions on freedoms, but you still defend the rich mullahs cracking skulls of the protesters.
        Don’t worry there will be more protests as Iran’s economy continues to spiral downhill and you are on the side of the oppressors.

        • Hind Abyad
          • Rascal

            You are obsessed with jews. Every time you comment on any subject regardless of topic you always show your hate of Israelis. Two dozen Iranians were killed in a week of protest for freedom and economic issues with many hundreds arrested with unknown fate and this topic which is also what this particular news article is about, and you could care less.
            Here is a video close to home for you regarding how Canadian Iranians feel since you don’t seem very informed about the gravity of the protests.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hAisGtl3-g

          • Hind Abyad

            To balance Zionist mental diseases trolls.
            We lost the few Lebanese that were left no one could have discussion without being attacked by the Y K (who called me dumbyad and logorrhea to Danny Farah, Hannibal (the janitor..the Jakes, the Rudies, the Rascals, ‘Iran Iran Iran broken record. Niemals ‘code’ name ‘Abyss so he on’t see ‘Hold on’ by YaLibnan, the sv Orab and other imbeciles OK?

        • Hind Abyad

          Tayyar is a lebanese paper, take them to Court et fous moi la paix!
          Translated in from Arabic

          ‘Iran has lived a normal second day’

          (..)it and calls to not raise hopes and exaggerate expectations, while in Washington and Riyadh perseverance and insistence that something is not over and that there is a revolution is going to fall the system and need some media support and diplomatic, expressed by the American media and Saudi Arabia News of the past days and the re-broadcast of photos and recordings from the early days to confirm the continuation of events, led to the invitation of the United States delegate to the United Nations Nicky Hailey for an emergency session of the UN’

          “In Tel Aviv to recognize the limitations of what happened in Iran and the ability of the state to absorb it and calls to not raise hopes and exaggerate expectations, while in Washington and Riyadh perseverance and insistence that something is not over and that there is a revolution
          Security Council to discuss the situation in Iran, said by Assistant Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Re Abkhov said that it is meaningless and necessary in the light of Iranian developments, and is only an attempt to exploit the events and try to use them in political interests.”
          maybe you would like another article?

        • Hind Abyad

          You’re as literate as a shoe maker.

    • Hind Abyad
  • Niemals

    How comes that Iran’s mighty Guard Declares Victory Over Protesters?

    How can you declare ‘victory’ on your own people?

  • Niemals

    Another absurdum from Abyss
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/23180bfa22b7d270799ae619958728b28deaf6a88b2b077046f5db8759e9cd60.jpg
    “Israeli military clothing in the Saudi markets!”, so what – if you like Israeli military clothing you can by it on http://www.zahal.org/ 🤫 👔 🔫……
    This post “Another(?!?) elderly woman arrested in Germany for having the wrong opinion on history.” of one Joyce @TOQJoyce is a „Gefällt mir“ chosen by @AbyadHind, the eternal Jew hater! and a Holocaust denial.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/90b6e748fe405b976b3be211c18382e9b53151de856d4b8cfd23738134a65972.jpg
    Both are not enlightened in the subject yet spreads false facts – non of them dug deeper into the case around Ursula Haverbeck the “Nazi-Oma”.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6bb0990d57089d2f3af3520ee6beb56eb8f9c978aa778a368aa7e5a20d627554.jpg Ursula Haverbeck (the “Nazi-Oma” is a 89-year-old woman), who has multiple convictions for Holocaust denial.

    I can understand people having negative opinions and justified criticism of Israel, but I refuse to accept a morbid obsession with antisemitism!

    • Hind Abyad

      Niemals:
      “@AbyadHind, the eternal Jew hater! and a Holocaust denial.”

      “Both are not enlightened in the subject yet spreads false facts – non of them dug deeper into the case around Ursula Haverbeck the “Nazi-Oma”

      “I can understand people having negative opinions and justified criticism of Israel, but I refuse to accept a morbid obsession with antisemitism!.”

      -That’s your personal morbid brainless addiction for attention. Stalker