Iran Faces Anti-Govt Protests Over Plane Shootdown

Police disperse protests among students

Iran has long made shooting down planes a big deal. The 1988 downing of Iran Air Flight 655 by the US was a major issue, and one that’s remained a top talking point for the Iranian government. Iran’s downing of a Ukrainian plane last week is also a much bigger deal than it would be in a lot of countries.

Iranian protesters have taken to the streets, mostly around universities, calling for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other top officials to all resign over the incident. Iran’s Fars news agency confirmed the protests.

Official reporting within Iran on anti-government protests like this is highly unusual, but reflective of just how big of a deal the plane incident is domestically. Iranian police were called to disperse protesters at at least one Tehran university. They cited “radical” slogans is a reason for ending them.

The US is clearly hoping to take advantage of this for another round of escalatory rhetoric, warning Iran that they had better not silence the protesters, and suggesting that the demonstrations prove that Iranians want regime change.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.