Enemies were trying to ‘Syrianize’ Iran: civil defense chief

December 29, 2019 - 18:42

TEHRAN — Enemies were after throwing Iran into disarray and making it like Syria in the mid-November protests, chief of Iran’s Civil Defense Organization said on Sunday.

“The goal of the Aban (November) unrest was to Syrianize Iran,” Gholamreza Jalali said, according to Mehr.

He added that the Iranian people quickly realized the difference between protest and riot, which ended the unrest in 48 hours.

Jalali was addressing a session held in Tehran to study different aspects of the recent unrest across Iran.

Protests erupted in Iran on November 15 after the government announced an increase in the price of gasoline, a subsidized commodity that is still cheaper in Iran than other countries in the world.

Rioters damaged public and private property and put banks, gas stations, and state buildings on fire.

To control the situation, Iran blocked access to the internet for days. 

In his remarks, Jalali pointed to the role of social media in the unrest, criticizing some officials for supporting free access to foreign social media networks.

Shutting the internet down acted like “water on fire” and proved that the unrest was being organized by the social media, he argued.

Soon after the protests erupted, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei supported the government’s decision and condemned any act of sabotage carried out by some “hooligans” and supported by Iran’s enemies.

“You see in the past two days, all the centers of evil in the world have been encouraging such acts against us. From the sinister Pahlavi dynasty to the vicious and criminal gang of Monafeqin (the MEK terrorist group); they are constantly encouraging hooliganism via the internet and other means,” the Leader stated at the time.

Other officials also blamed Monfaeqin and the Pahlavi dynasty in addition to the U.S. and Israeli governments. 

In his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei urged the authorities to take good care of the affected people and assuage the hardship caused by the move.

He also called on the people to take note of the enemies’ plots to disrupt Iran’s security and take a separate path from the rioters that try to foment insecurity in the country.

The Leader quoted officials as saying that they would not allow the gasoline price hike lead to increase in prices of other commodities.

This is important because a further increase in commodity prices creates many problems for the people, Ayatollah Khamenei said.

The protests also prompted all factions of the Iranian political spectrum to unify and condemn foreign intervention in Iran’s internal affairs.


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