British Empire Hand Seen in Escalation against Iran
Jan. 12, 2020 (EIRNS)—Anti-government demonstrations have reappeared in Iraq—the ones so often praised by Mike Pompeo during December—and in Iran. The anti-austerity protests across the south of Iraq on Jan. 10, nowhere near as large as in recent months, have been largely ignored by Western media. But regime-change in Iran has become the lead story in those media today, as the British war party has escalated again following the deceptive “calm” since the Jan. 9 Iranian missile launches.
On Saturday night, Jan. 11, demonstrations of primarily students and other young people broke out in Tehran and other cities, appearing by certain chants to be explicitly anti-government, anti-Khamenei protests. Videos show thousands in Tehran. The protests were over Iran’s denial for several days that it mistakenly shot down Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752, shortly after it had taken off from Tehran. Of the 176 passengers and crew who died, 82 were Iranian and 63 had Canadian passports; 138 had Canada listed as their final destination. Some now lived in Canada, others were on their way there for graduate studies.
Iran briefly arrested the British Ambassador, Rob Macaire, for “provoking suspicious acts” in connection with the demonstrations. Macaire claims he had helped initiate a “vigil,” and that when “a protest broke out,” he left the scene. He protested that “arresting diplomats is of course illegal,” and Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Iran “is in a march to pariah status.” Macaire has had a 25-year career in defense and then in postings in the Middle East and Africa specializing in “counter-terror” and “political risk management.”
President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter Jan. 11: “The government of Iran must allow human rights groups to monitor and report facts from the ground on the ongoing protests by the Iranian people. There can not be another massacre of peaceful protesters, nor an internet shutdown. The world is watching.”
Some charts published in today’s Washington Post show that Iranians are facing extreme deprivation and impoverishment since 2017, especially since the November 2018 sanctions. The rial has lost two-thirds of its value since 2017. Oil exports and therefore oil revenue have lost, in stages, 90% of their 2017 level. The consumer price index has doubled since 2016. Milk and sugar prices are double, beef 2.5 times higher. GDP has dropped about 5% in 2018, 6% more in 2019. The new sanctions which Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced Jan. 10 are an attempt at an economic embargo, like the Saudis imposed on Yemen by war.
Sixty-five years ago, when the British organized a coup to overthrow Iran’s Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in August1953, because he had nationalized their Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in 1951, they asked the CIA to help them out at the last stage of the coup. The CIA provided the British a lot of “demonstration money” which put them over the top, and let them drive out Prime Minister Mossadegh. Ever since then, for 65 years, the British action has been called an “American coup” against Iran.