Fox News as the Rag of the MEK

Fox News: “‘They should impose major sanctions on the regime,’ one protester demanded. Another added there ‘should be sanctions for human rights violations.’ The protesters are members of the long banned opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI, also known as the MEK). The group’s leader, Maryam Rajavi, has been directly blamed by the Iranian government for fomenting the unrest. Social media videos show supporters unveiling large banners with Rajavi’s photo over highway overpasses, and continuing their opposition.”

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“The Moral Economy of the Iranian Protests”

Jacobin: “The Iranian demonstrators share the familiar anxieties produced by global capitalism’s rampant inequalities and environmental destruction. For now the protests seem to be petering out under state repression and the protesters’ inability to broaden their support. The government acknowledges that 21 have been killed and almost 4,000 have been arrested in a national sweep. The government may try to alleviate tensions by rewriting the budget and reinstating the subsidies and cash payments that it had planned to slash. A new round of highly publicized anti-corruption cases may also be a means for the regime to argue that it is taking action and responding to social demands. But the social realities of those living on the jagged edges of Iranian society will persist. What makes the demonstrations against malfeasance and the calls for political change and social justice powerful is the fact that the protesters are accusing Iran’s rulers of violating the revolution’s commitment to a moral economy.”

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“How Iran’s Bread Riots turned anti-Systemic & what it means for the Future”

Informed Comment: “A few issues stood out in the January 2018 protests. These will have far-reaching implications in the future. First and foremost, the protests turned very quickly into anti-systemic riots. Reports of the unrest have noted that demonstrators chanted slogans against the regime (Down with the Dictator) and tore down pictures of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. The wide spread of anti-regime sentiments was remarkable. While the 2009 Green Movement was effectively an extension of the reformist faction aimed at countering the excesses of the conservatives, the January 2018 protests did not differentiate between the reformists and conservatives and rejected the whole system of clerical rule. This suggests a qualitative shift and a significant challenge to the future of the regime. This challenge will remain real as long as the ruling regime fails to deliver on the much needed economic recovery.”

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“A London Television Station Has Convinced Iran the Shah Was Great”

Foreign Policy: “Of course, none of this would have mattered if the Islamic Republic hadn’t blocked any alternative for political opposition within the country. With most of Iran’s critical voices and political leaders under arrest or in exile, and a long-running deadlock between conservatives and reformist political elites, young Iranians are hungry for a political alternative. The only alternative at hand happens to be a news and entertainment industry that pines for Pahlavi Iran.”

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“Why is Iran arresting its protesting youths?”

WaPo: “That these emerging Iranians are willing to take direct action against their government doesn’t mean that they want to burn it all down. As I’ve noted elsewhere, citizens take to the streets to preserve the system, to make it work for them and not against them. Protests have a long and proud pedigree in Iran, and should, for now, be seen as politics by other means, a way to avoid the change that comes by any means necessary.”

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“How ISIS Got Weapons From the U.S. and Used Them to Take Iraq and Syria”

Newsweek: “As much as 90 percent of ISIS’s arms and ammunition were found to have originated in Russia, China and Eastern European states. The jihadis were able to obtain much of this arsenal as a result of former President Barack Obama’s support for rebels in Syria, U.K.-based Conflict Armament Research reported after analyzing 40,000 items recovered by its investigators along ISIS front lines between July 2014 and November 2017. By purchasing ‘large numbers’ of European arms and ammunition and then diverting them to nonstate actors in Syria without notifying the sellers, the U.S. reportedly ‘violated the terms of sale and export agreed between weapon exporters…and recipients.'”

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“Iran After Protests: Change Does Come”

Washington Post: “As in the past, the current crackdowns may appear to suppress demands for change and strengthen the status quo. But evolution is essential for survival, and the system will evolve. Since the protesters come from the segments of the population that hardliners have long taken for granted, these forces may find themselves on the defensive and thus forced to heed the call of reining in the shadow state. If foreign investment flows in with greater requirements of transparency, the stranglehold of corruption on the economy could also be loosened, allowing more independent businesses to flourish again.”

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“Iran tried to block the internet to disrupt protests. It wound up disrupting daily life”

LA Times: “As authorities have tried to govern the internet, Iranians have over the years become adept at circumventing online censorship. But as more Iranians use the internet — and the internet plays a bigger role in an increasingly web-connected society — crackdowns have broader effects. For many, internet restrictions in recent weeks disrupted daily life more than the protests did.”

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“Protesters Outside Tehran’s Evin Prison Demand Release Of Prisoners”

The Iranian: “Scores of dervishes and other demonstrators were protesting outside Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, while anti-riot forces were lined up surrounding them, since Tuesday afternoon until the time of this publication, after midnight Tehran time.”

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“Iranians Can Do Without Bill Kristol’s Solidarity”

Jacobin: “Indeed, at least as early as May 2003 — when fresh plumes of smoke were still rising over Baghdad — Kristol used a Hamas-connected suicide bombing in Jerusalem and unconfirmed media reports that one of the men behind an attack on a Saudi compound was hiding in Iran to call for military intervention into the country. Besides maintaining this drumbeat of war through subsequent years, Kristol’s political group, the Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI), ran ads throughout 2012 calling for war with Iran.”

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