Tuesday, June 26, 2018

"Death to Palestine"

Out there in the real world, change seems to be coming. Naturally, the armies of the aggrieved are complaining about American foreign policy. They excel at complaining, so they exercise the muscle whenever they can, regardless.

State Department employees, relieved to have been freed from Rex Tillerson, are now complaining about Mike Pompeo. They refuse to look at the larger picture of American foreign policy, so they resort to whining about their own condition. And, of course, bemoaning the downgrade in our relations with Western European countries.

So, we have not been reading many stories about the protest demonstrations that are currently taking place in Iran. We have not been reading about the fact that these protesters are on the streets shouting: Death to Palestine. Did you ever imagine that you would ever hear that?

We are not going to credit the Trump administration’s rejection of the Iran nuclear deal entirely, but still, the anticipation of renewed economic sanctions seems to have had a strikingly deleterious effect on the Iranian economy, and especially on the Iranian currency.

Paul Mirengoff reports on the Powerline blog (via Sarah Hoyton Instapundit):

Tehran was rocked by protests today. Protesters confronted police officers in front of parliament and swarmed Tehran’s Grand Bazaar, forcing its closure (according to this account, though, merchants themselves initiated the shutdown to protest skyrocketing prices).

Rising prices and other economic woes are, indeed, at the heart of the protests, which in recent days have also forced the closure of major shopping centers in Tehran. Iran’s economy seems to be cratering, and its currency, the Iranian rial, has plummeted to 90,000 to the U.S. dollar on the black market. At the end of last year, it was 43,000.

Earlier this year, I noted Iran’s runaway inflation, and its possible consequences for the regime. Since then, things have gotten worse, as President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. will withdraw from the nuclear deal fuels economic pessimism.

But there’s more to the protests than just economic discontent. Protesters reportedly carried signs and shouted chants expressing disgust with the regime’s foreign adventurism — e.g., “Palestine, Syria are reasons of our misery” and “Let go of Syria, think of us.” They blame Iranian foreign and military policy for the state of the economy.

It’s always nice to begin your day with some good news.


Sam L. said...

Sarah Hoyt links some great stuff.

Ares Olympus said...

I recall the "Arab spring" missed Iran. It looks good that the protestors see the Iranian government as responsible for their misery, rather than America. Hopefully the U.S. can sit back and watch. The lifting the of sanctions on the nuclear deal gave the people hope that things could improve, but the hardliners used the end of sanctions to strengthen their "war" efforts rather than strengthening their economy, so with things going in the opposite direction again, even just under threat of further sanctions, so there's good internal pressure to have the hardliners change their ways.

If there is an democratic reality to the government of Iran, this pressure could work. Hassan Rouhani of the "Moderation and Development Party" was reelected last year with 57% of the vote. If anyone can turn Iran around it is him, so I have to imagine he celebrates these protests, and it gives him leverage to change directions.

The ideal would be that the Iranian government would publicly back down on their terroristic as well as nuclear aspirations, but if sanctions expand regardless of their promises and conditions get worse no matter what Iran does, then I'd imagine the harderliners will win and just crack down on their own people to crush the protests.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Note that our worsening relationship with other western countries under Trump and his appointees is not entire. He is deplored by the elites and the wannabees in those countries, but many others are liking Trump just fine. Those include some unsavory cahracters of their own, but not all, not all by a long shot. Norwegians would tell me things quietly and in code when I visited. My son, who lives there, hears a lot more.

Gringo said...

If there is an democratic reality to the government of Iran, this pressure could work. Hassan Rouhani of the "Moderation and Development Party" was reelected last year with 57% of the vote.

I wouldn't hold my breath. If the Mullahs don't vet you, you don't run. Moderate, schmoderate, fulla Mullah.

If Iran gets a moderate government- one turning away from from foreign adventures and from the religious police- it will not come from the government the Mullahs have run for the last 4 decades.

Sam L. said...

Which appears now to have some degree of possibility, Gringo.