Tens of thousands of protesters were reported in the streets of Tehran today, clashing with police and defying government edicts warning them against public demonstration. Reports say many of the protesters wore green ribbons, in support of the failed 2009 Green Movement protests.
The protests were the first major rallies in Iran since the regional uprisings began, and protesters appeared to be fueled by the same anger about curbs on personal freedom and rising unemployment and food prices as they were everywhere else.
Of course the most noteworthy difference between the protests in Tehran and those in the rest of the region were how quickly the Obama Administration jumped on the bandwagon, praising the protests and saying that they deserve the “same rights as those in Egypt.”
Which in context probably wasn’t meant to mean that they have a right to the US supporting a tyrannical regime and vigorously opposing regime change until it was clear that it was collapsing then changing their minds and claiming support for “freedom” as a rationale.
Rather, the Obama Administration’s cheerleading for the Tehran protests, and its sudden launching of a Farsi language State Department twitter feed will likely be counterproductive to the protests, fueling a belief that they are a US backed uprising (like so many others in the region) rather than a reflection popular discontent.
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