On Saturday, President Trump tweeted a message in support of the Iranian people – in Persian.
به مردم شجاع و رنج کشیده ایران: من از ابتدای دوره ریاست جمهوریم با شما ایستادهام و دولت من همچنان با شما خواهد ایستاد. ما اعتراضات شما را از نزدیک دنبال می کنیم. شجاعت شما الهام بخش است.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2020
This tweet has so far gathered over 365,000 “Likes,” making it – by far – the most liked tweet ever written in Farsi.
The importance of the President supporting the protesters in Iran cannot be underestimated. During the Obama administration, Iranian protesters received essentially no moral support from the US and were crushed. Now the president of the United States is quite publicly supporting them.
So it is no wonder that Iran is very upset at this tweet.
Iran has called President Donald Trump’s bluff on expressing support for Iranian protesters in Farsi just after he threatened to attack their cultural heritage, asking the US president not to defile the Persian language.
“Hands and tongues smeared with threatening, sanctioning and terrorizing the #Iranian nation, are not entitled to dishonor the ancient #Persian_language,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi tweeted late Sunday.
Hands and tongues smeared with threatening, sanctioning and terrorizing the #Iranian nation, are not entitled to dishonor the ancient #Persian_language.
By the way, are you actually “standing by” millions of Iranians whose hero you just assassinated or “standing against” them?! https://t.co/sfmT0qLXJq pic.twitter.com/6IwJL1uYUh
— S.A MOUSAVI (@SAMOUSAVI9) January 12, 2020
Trump’s tweet came after dozens of people protested outside a university in downtown Tehran to denounce officials’ belated confirmation of a Ukrainian passenger plane unintentionally downed outside the Iranian capital.
It was a few more than “dozens.”
And as was widely reported, the protesters avoided stepping on the flags of the US and Israel:
Students at Tehran’s Beheshti university avoid walking on U.S. and Israeli flags painted at entrance. Via @mamlekate pic.twitter.com/iQht16DZbp
— Golnaz Esfandiari (@GEsfandiari) January 12, 2020
Except for a few, who were yelled at with the same word in the video above, “Besharaf” – “Shameful!”
Students in Tehran University take pains to avoid walking on the flags of U.S. & Israel—as the regime forces people to do—and when two Basiji regime agents then make a point of trampling the flags, the crowds shout “Besharaf!” #بیشرف — the regime is shameless, dishonorable. pic.twitter.com/BLr5QKztr8
— UN Watch (@UNWatch) January 12, 2020
Psychologically, this is a heavy blow to Iran’s leaders. It has raised its youth for over 40 years to hate Israel and the US, and here these same youth are saying that they prefer those two nations to Iran.
The PressTV article goes on to justify their arrest of the UK ambassador:
Meanwhile, the Iranian media is abuzz with reports of British Ambassador Rob Macaire monitoring the protest from a safe distance.
Macaire was briefly arrested by security forces over his presence at the site of a protest.
He later acknowledged his brief detention in Twitter messages posted in Farsi, but denied that he had taken part in demonstrations.
“Can confirm I wasn’t taking part in any demonstrations! Went to an event advertised as a vigil for victims of #PS752 tragedy,” he wrote, adding that he left the site immediately after a number of people started chanting slogans, but was arrested half an hour later.
The following is footage released by Iranian police of the UK envoy’s presence at the protest site:
The Foreign Ministry said it had summoned the British ambassador to protest his unconventional behavior and participation at an illegal rally, and to remind him that such conduct on the part of a foreign ambassador runs counter to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961.
Which is very funny because the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations explicitly says that diplomats have immunity from arrest in their host country. It is Iran that broke the protocol.
Iran tried to organize a “Death to UK” protest outside the British embassy in response, and it saw more police in attendance than the few dozen unenthusiastic protesters.
Iranian propagandists are spinning as much as they can, but their lies are obvious – especially to Iranians themselves.
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