The wave of protests that started last Friday, May 6, 2022 in several cities of Khuzestan province, last night spread to other provinces of Iran. Reports, videos and pictures published on social media show that the cities of Izeh, Andimeshk, Dezful in Khuzestan province; Dorud in Lorestan province and also Junqan and Shahr-e-kurd in Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari province were the center of crowded protests last night. In these videos, we hear people shouting: “Death to Khamenei! Cannon, tanks, firecrackers, mullahs must get lost! Raisi the liar, where is the result of your promises? Death to Raisi! death to dictator! Death to inflation!”
But the people did not just chant slogans against this or that. They also wish blessings. The chant “Reza Shah, Bless your soul!” among the shouts of the people was the only slogan that had a “positive” theme and was chanted in gratitude and appreciation of someone.
In many of the videos posted online during yesterday’s protests, we see police and repressive forces using tear gas to disperse the protesting crowds, and in some cases, the sound of gunfire can be clearly heard.
The use of violence against the protesting people led to heavy clashes in some places. In the city of Junqan, people who were tired of repression and violence captured the Basij base in the city:
Regime officials and the state media had been silent throughout the week of continuous protests by Khuzestan residents. Alireza Vernaseri-Ghandali, a representative of Masjed Soleiman, who went far beyond concealing the truth and stated in the local media: “There is no news of protests in Khuzestan province. Everything is normal in Khuzestan. I deny the formation of any protests throughout Khuzestan province. Internet speed in Khuzestan is excellent. The news published about the decrease and interruption of internet speed in Khuzestan is a complete lie… “, while “Cloudflare Radar” had confirmed the interruption of mobile internet since last Friday. “NetBlocks” also reported on Wednesday, May 11, that the internet of some operators in Iran was disrupted and wrote: “Slow speed can disrupt the free flow of information during protests.”
The silence of the state media broke with today’s report of the regime’s official media, IRNA. In the headline of the report, which was published around 2 am, IRNA writes about the “return” of calm to the cities after the protests. This is the main line of propaganda of the regime: IRNA describes the number of protesting cities as “limited”, calls the protests “scattered rallies”, reduces the reason for their occurrence to “implementing the law on reforming the subsidy system” and writes that people “chanted slogans demanding prices to return to what they were.” However, the official media of the Islamic Republic confirms the occurrence of protests in cities such as Izeh, Andimeshk, Dorud, Dezful, Shahr-e-kurd, Junqan and Fashafoyeh city of Tehran, and also writes about the burning of one of the mosques in Izeh.
So we conclude: the regime’s propaganda is trying,
• Make the protests purely “subsistence”;
• Induce the number of protesters to be “small”;
• Call the protesters “thugs”;
• Make the repressive forces as “gentle and patient” and
• Show the atmosphere of cities and society as “calm and normal”.
Therefore, in order to achieve a real understanding of the current situation of the country and society, it is enough to consider the opposite of these images:
• The protests are “radical and highly political”;
• The number of protesters is in fact several times what can be seen in the released videos.
• Protesters are “citizens” dissatisfied with the current situation,
• Repressive forces treat people “violently and savagely”
• The atmosphere of cities and society is “inflamed and explosive”.
Translation of this post by Sahar.