Mideast Daily News

Israeli Prime Minister Releases Video Encouraging Iranian Opposition

By Michael Friedson | The Media Line

January 2, 2018

A portrait of US President Donald Trump burns during a demonstration in the capital Tehran on December 11, 2017 to denounce his declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. (Photo: ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

In a move that has been met with both criticism and praise, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has released a video in which he praises Iranians who are braving street demonstrations against the regime. Critics argue the speech plays into Iranian President Rohani’s allegations that Israel is behind the unrest; and that Netanyahu posting his speech on Facebook is merely a poor “wannabe” effort to piggyback on President Trump’s success in using social media as a primary vehicle for reaching the masses. Netanyahu praised the “brave Iranians pouring into the streets,” delivering a message that echoed the words of President Trump. But others were grateful that the prime minister is speaking out. They recalled the series of events when Iranian insurgents were left hanging in 2011/2012 when the streets were also filled with protesters following the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Leaders of anti-regime groups at the time told The Media Line that if the Obama administration had given the rebels tangible aid to do what was needed to do, not including weapons, the Ayatollah and his government could have been history. Rioting continued overnight, with state-run television reporting nine new deaths, bringing the toll to 20 since the current protests began six days ago. In the past three days alone, 450 Iranians have been arrested in the capital alone, according to a source in the Tehran municipality.


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