By Jubin Katiraie
The calls for protests in Iran are three times more than they were last year, according to the Head of the Security and Law Enforcement Department at Iran’s Ministry of Interior.
Hossein Zolfaghari said Tuesday that that was 1,702 calls for protests since the beginning of the Persian year in March, compared with 519 calls in the same period last year, which is a 227% increase.
He quoted intelligence reports and claimed the calls for protests were coming from “abroad”, along with the “roots of some issues”, but admitted that it was possible for Iranians inside Iran to “re-post” the calls.
Zolfaghari, a former Deputy Commander of the Law Enforcement Force, said that foreign media outlets who wrote about protests and strikes were “trying to turn Iran into another Syria” and that the Ministry had sent “610 strategic reports” to officials to stop any further protests.
He further said that the Security Council predicted the November 2019 uprising following the overnight tripling of fuel prices, which almost anyone could have foreseen, and that officials who claimed not to know about the increase in advance had lied, presenting documents to prove it.
Zolfaghari said: “There were no problems during the early hours of the plan, but from Friday noon, some officials inside the country tweeted and came on the internet and said some things and a group from abroad carried out some actions and some people protested, and then other incidents occurred… Those who said that they did not know about the plan until Friday, there are documents that show at what time, what day, and who told them about the gas increase.”
In the November 2019 protests, angry Iranians chanted against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the regime as a whole. These included:
- “Death to Khamenei”
- “Death to the dictator”
- “Mullahs must get lost”
The protests spread to 160 cities with protesters setting fire to bases belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Bassij, police kiosks, police stations, security force cars and motorcycles, governor’s offices, offices of the heads of Friday prayers, seminaries, IRGC owned chain stores, banks, ATM’s, and gas stations. The regime responded with a violent crackdown, shooting at least 1,500 protesters dead and shutting off the internet to prevent news from getting out.
The Iranian officials are scared of more protests because this could overthrow the mullahs. Politician Hossein Biadi, said, “there was a possibility of unexpected socio-political events by late December”.