Iranian regime uses Assad playbook to blame protests on USA, Israel, Saudi “conspiracy”

This bulletin from Iran’s state-run IRIB news agency uses the standard Iranian regime propaganda claim that the Syrian revolution was a US-Israeli conspiracy against the dictator Bashar al-Assad to suggest that the protests against Iran’s regime are part of a similar plot, and as an implicit warning that Iran’s regime will punish any uprising in the same way.

Neglecting to mention that the Iranian regime has been one of the primary backers of Assad’s war on the Syrian people since 2011, helping him to cling to power by assisting in the torture, murder and dispossession of millions of Syrians, the report mixes footage of protests against Assad in Daraa in January 2011 with more recent footage of cities reduced to rubble in bombardment by the air and ground forces of Assad and his principal accomplices Iran and Russia.

The presenter, who refers to the revolution and war as a “crisis”, suggests that the Syrian people did not actually oppose the regime but were instead lured into a conspiracy against Assad by the USA, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Voicing implausible regret at the horrendous war on the Syrian people in which Iran’s regime has been a main partner, the presenter refers to the advent of the terror group ISIS (the ‘Islamic State’) as an inevitable result, omitting to mention that the Syrian people have fought against ISIS as well as against Assad, who is widely believed to have been involved in establishing and working with the terror group. The presenter feigns horror at ISIS’ savagery to while failing to mention the identical savagery of Assad’s and Iran’s proxy militias.

Turning to the subject of the recent protests in Iran, the presenter then claims that, like Syrians’ uprising, these are part of a similar nefarious conspiracy by the USA, Israel and Saudi Arabia are fomenting similar conspiracy in Iran, against which the people must be vigilant.

“Today the enemy’s plan after doing everything they could and becoming desperate is to create division between the Islamic Republic and the dear people of Iran”, the presenter intones ominously, failing to mention the totalitarian Iranian theocracy’s massive corruption and brutality against the ‘dear people’ which were among the main sparks for the latest protests, in which a number of demonstrators have already been killed by regime forces, while thousands have been arrested and imprisoned simply for participating in the peaceful demonstrations, whose demands include very basic rights such as drinkable water; a number of the protesters have been executed, some publicly, on patently false charges such as “enmity to God” in an effort to dissuade others from protesting.

The presenter suggests that the latest protests or “riots” as they’re referred to were planned by the USA, Israel and Saudi Arabia as a means to take advantage of the rightful demands of the people – demands which the regime has responded to with brutal repression as described above – in order to foment “riots and insecurity”. The reporter then suggests that the protests are being incited by the banned opposition People’s Mujahedin of Iran or Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) party, a favorite target of the regime’s rage and of its propaganda; thousands of MEK members were among the dissidents summarily executed and buried in mass graves by the regime’s forces in the 1980s. The presenter compares the MEK to ISIS, although the MEK supports liberal democratic government and human rights.

The report suggests that the MEK’s ‘center of command’ is in cyberspace, accusing its websites of being ‘controversial’ but failing to mention that the regime itself, which is believed to be behind the assassination of many MEK members in exile in the Middle East and Europe, is the manufacturer of this controversy. The presenter then accuses the MEK and American media of broadcasting falsehoods and distortions concerning the protests in Iran, on which the regime has attempted to impose a media blackout. The report accuses the MEK and Western media of attempting to influence public opinion, to deny the regime’s ‘glories’ and past achievements, and to exchange the places of those killed fighting for the regime – its ‘martyrs’ – with their victims, who are referred to as ‘executioners’.

The presenter then shows a report about the recent protests over severe water shortages in Khorramshahr, Abadan and other cities in the predominantly Arab Ahwaz region (which the regime refuses to call by its Arab name), with citizens there complaining about the water supply which is so saline that it tastes salty and burns the eyes of those using it to wash their faces. The report claims that regime officials responsible for these problems are “working day and night” to resolve them, as a result of which normal water will be available within five days of the report’s broadcast, by July 6.

The presenter claims that the aforementioned foreign media are exploiting the people’s anger at the water shortages to foment unrest, accusing them of inciting rioting and destruction in Khorramshahr, in which the report claims, the protesters smashed windows and used knives, stones, sticks ‘and even weapons’ and attacked public property; in reality the police used tear gas and live ammunition against protesters, killing one and injuring dozens more. The report makes similar insinuations about the protests over the spiraling currency exchange rates at the bazaars in Tehran, suggesting that foreign media are manipulating the local people to turn against the regime.