Trita Parsi, head of National Iranian-American Council
[Medley of two reports from BBC Persian and VOA Persian. The first one sings praises for IRGC Quds Force Commander General Soleimani, elevating him to mythological status, while Iranian people brought down his images in recent protests. In the second part, Trita Parsi, head of National Iranian-American Council, misrepresents facts about Iranian people. He suggests that Iranian people back their government and its expeditionary operations. Again, in recent protests, Iranian people chanted slogans against the Iranian regime and its foreign policies.]
Jamshid Barzegar: Today someone like Brigadier-General Soleimani, unlike the image that has existed in the society and public opinion regarding an IRGC commander, has found a different aspect. And it becomes the manifestation of the ethnic unconsciousness – objectification of the subjectivity. Someone who, like ancient commanders, can go, fight, protect Iran and become the symbol of patriotism.
Masoud Behnood: Do you agree with that?
Jamshid Barzegar: I do agree with this. It is something tied with our Persian language and with our history.
Masoud Behnood: Recently, Mohammad Ghoochani created the relationship of Bonapartism and Bismarck in relation to Zarif and Soleimani. And IRGC newspaper slammed him for creating this relationship among them. But I think that is not far from the truth. In general, I think that Suleimani is second Chamran [Iranian commander who was killed during Iran-Iraq war].
These mystic commanders are abundant in Iran and history of Iran. There were a lot of them in the history of Iran and the last example was Mostafa Chamran. And now it is Suleimani.
VOA reporter: In this meeting, Trita Parsi, head of National Iranian-American Council, who was invited as Iran expert said one of the significant results of this opinion poll is Iranians’ view of their country as a regional power.
Trita Parsi: There has been a rather interesting shift in Iranians’ view towards Iran’s position in the region. It means that Iranians measure themselves with other undemocratic regimes in the region and consider Iranian regime as superior. This opinion poll shows that people’s trust for the regime is obviously and surprisingly high. It means that they see changes in the system through going to ballot boxes and voting. Also, people’s view about Tehran’s interference in regional affairs has changed with the emergence of ISIS, and they call for Tehran’s more engagement overseas.