Former Turkish ambassador: Iran will crush anti-regime protests
Uğur Ergan - ANKARA
The Iranian state is “strong enough to crush” the recent wave of protests across the country, according to a former Turkish ambassador to Tehran.
“The biggest cause of the protests is the high cost of living. Due to global developments and the decline in the price of oil, the Iranian state has significantly reduced the subsidies on food prices,” retired Ambassador Bozkurt Aran told daily Hürriyet.
Ten people were killed overnight in the worst violence yet seen in Iran’s protests that started on Dec. 28, 2017, local media reported on Jan. 1. President Hassan Rouhani vowed that the Iranian people would “respond to rioters and lawbreakers.”
“The streets in Iran do not spontaneously move, but I don’t know who exactly is behind the recent protests,” said Aran, adding that he thinks the demonstrations will continue for a longer but will ultimately be crushed.
“Above all, the [Basij] militia is a very major power of the state. We should not forget that Iran is not like the other states in the region. Talking about regime collapse at such an early stage is very premature,” he said.