The US and Israeli governments have long wanted an excuse to militarily confront Iran, but it’s been a difficult situation. Now that there seems to be a popular uprising, a sudden collection of intense protests which even include some deaths, the Iranian government is under pressure to make zero mistakes. Any misstep could initiate foreign intervention. Of course, these protests should be held with suspicion.
The US and Israel love to initiate and support activities like this, stirring up trouble as an excuse for explicit intervention.
For instance, the hugely important Ukraine coup was the work of the West.
Already, Netanyahu has jumped to the support of the protesters. Even Hillary is throwing her support into the ring– a scary sign if there ever was one:
The Iranian people, especially the young, are protesting for the freedom and future they deserve. I hope their government responds peacefully and supports their hopes.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) December 31, 2017
Whether this is authentic or not remains to be seen. Whatever the case, Iranian intervention seems to loom. Daniel Larison of TAC offers some advice:
The key thing that U.S. politicians and policymakers need to keep in mind is that internal protests in Iran are not about us, and they are not an “opportunity” for us to exploit. The U.S. should publicly say as little as possible about the protests except to condemn the use of force against peaceful protesters, and it should not otherwise attempt to insert itself into the situation or interfere. There is not much that the U.S. could practically do in any case, and none of it would be helpful or constructive. The Trump administration in particular has no credibility with Iranians, and any expressions of support it offers are likely both unwanted by and harmful to the intended recipients.
The administration cannot ban Iranians from the U.S. at the start of the year, and then suddenly pretend that it respects them and supports their aspirations at the end. It will be a serious error if the Trump administration concludes that the U.S. needs to “make up” for Obama’s handling of the Green movement protests, but after eight years of hawkish myth-making they might do exactly that. It would be far wiser and better for the U.S. and the Iranian people if our government allowed events in Iran to unfold without comment from Washington.