I would have begun my article way differently than this if it wasn’t for the opportunity I had of being in Iran for a short time and personally observing how every now and then, this country is badly misinterpreted on the international level. Before I write anything about the current political situation in Iran, I’d like to make a quick point about the efficiency and accuracy of opinions by individuals in relation to their current geographical and ethnical position.
A polite request is for all to note that in this situation, not everyone is entitled to give their opinion and not every opinion you hear out there is valid or is even bound to have some amounts of truth in it, for that matter. In this very sensitive situation, the best you can do, if you’re not Iranian (and live in Iran) or have a contact with those who are present in Iran, is to keep quiet. Just because you work at a fancy news agency with a website with huge readership and a red logo, you are not entitled to write whatever on earth your heart desires in your “news” articles. Please, stop. If your journalism does not include doing research and checking facts and figures, find another job.
The amount of English speakers is very low in Iran and the people of Iran don’t use most of the same social media platforms as the rest of the world or read articles or blogs written in English. It is normal for people to avoid English language and prefer their own language when it comes to news, education or basically anything, unlike most countries. This is why there is a communication gap between Iran and the rest of the world.
What you’re reading on the internet, namely the “biggest uprising since 2009,” the “revolt against the Islamic government” and the “outrage of fed-up Iranians on the regime’s corruption,” are a mix-up of three groups of rally-people: supporters of the Islamic government, 9th Day (Day is an Iranian month on the 9th of which, pro-government Iranians rally the street for a nation-wide celebration) celebrators and protestors angry with inflation and a few international policies to do with the election of president Rouhani. Ever since his second election, President Hassan Rouhani is being blamed for the economic state of the country and for this matter, demonstrations are being carried out. On the other hand, a full benefit of the filled streets is being taken by those who wish to direct these protests elsewhere. The lack of English-speaking Iranian people isn’t doing any good either. As you may have derived from my explanation, these protests are in no way “fury against the Islamic Revolution” or an “uprising,” although strong efforts are being made by Iran’s political opponents who wish to make it look like something severe when it’s not.
Iran’s interior minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, on this occasion, is of the view that the U.S. and other governments do not have a proper understanding of the situation in Iran, do not recognize the people of Iran. He said that “the U.S. is gleefully projecting certain scenes in their faulty minds as if something were happening in Iran.”
Meanwhile, President Rouhani continues to face criticism and has responded on Sunday, Dec. 31 by saying that Iranians are free to express their criticism of his government and stage protests according to the constitution and citizenship rights and in a way that would lead to improvement, thus dismissing the thought in the international media that Iranians are not allowed to rally the streets and are being held back by fear of military action. Habibollah Khojastepour, Iranian Deputy Minister for Political and Security Affairs, also clarified that the two people killed amidst the riots weren’t killed by the military or law enforcement agencies. He says that “no bullet was fired by Iranian military, law enforcement and security forces.” The killings were just the product of unrest among the people.
President Hassan Rouhani has also requested the Iranian nation for cooperation and said that solving the economic problems were “not easy” and required time. He also showed discontent with Donald Trump’s tweets of sympathy with the Iranians. He thinks that Donald Trump is in no position to do that and further said that “This man who today in America wants to sympathize with our people has forgotten that a few months ago he called the Iranian nation terrorist,” further making references to Trump’s speeches against the nation and the Muslim ban.
While matters continue to progress in Iran amidst all this confusing atmosphere, it would be best for news agencies and platforms with little knowledge of the happenings and the day-to-day lives of the Iranian people to stay silent rather than knowingly or unknowingly spreading false news on behalf of the people of Iran and make room for the people who actually deserve to talk about the issue.