Guardian Confirms British Ambassador Helped Start Protests
Anti-government demonstrations in Iran continued Monday, at least in Tehran, with very little hard fact confirmed about them; photos show crowds in the thousands in Tehran. The city’s police chief says police are under orders for restraint.
The Guardian’s Jan. 13 coverage of the protest confirmed the role of its ambassador: Robert Macaire helped “start a vigil, that turned into a demonstration, at which point the ambassador left,” the paper reported, adding that he was arrested after leaving the scene and then released after multiple protest communications from the British embassy. Foreign Minister Dominic Raab, in denouncing Macaire’s arrest, said, “The Iranian government is at a crossroads moment. It can continue its march towards pariah status with all the political and economic isolation that entails, or take steps to de-escalate tensions and engage in a diplomatic path forwards.”
President Donald Trump has sent a number of Twitter messages since Sunday evening Jan. 12 on the subject of these demonstrations. He has stated that the United States stands with the protesters; that National Security Adviser O’Brien has told him Iran leadership is getting ready to negotiate; and that his only demands regarding negotiations with Iran are: no nuclear weapons, and don’t kill protesters.
The Guardian also reported that Supreme Leader Khamenei has ordered an (unprecedented) investigation of IRGC actions.
“A senior IRGC commander, Gen Amir Ali Hajizadeh, confessed publicly that he knew the plane had been shot down almost immediately after it happened, and asked for forgiveness…. Hajizadeh, the head of the Revolutionary Guards aerospace division, apologised on television and said the group took full responsibility for the disaster.”