The Iranian government has faced growing internal pressure following the downing of a civilian jet last week. The Ukraine International Airlines flight was shot down on Wednesday shortly after takeoff, killing all 176 passengers on board.
The regime has since taken responsibility for the deaths, blaming ‘human error’ amid rising tensions with the US following the assassination of Qasim Soleimani. Some have suggested that the regime’s tragic error could signal the beginning of the end for Iran’s theocratic dictatorship as increasing numbers of Iranians take to the streets.
Over the weekend, the British ambassador was arrested while attending a vigil for those who died on the Ukrainian flight, including four Brits. Iranian state-funded new outlet Press TV claimed that the ambassador had been organising protests against the government. A small number of government supporters (pictured above) yesterday gathered in protest outside the British Embassy in Tehran.
TEHRAN, Jan. 13 (MNA) – British ambassador to Iran, Rob Macaire, took part in a protest in front of Amir Kabir University in downtown Tehran on Saturday, and was shortly detained. He was summoned to the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Sunday for “unconventional behavior” inconsistent with his diplomatic status and being present in an “illegal gathering”.
Meanwhile, students at Tehran’s Shahid Beheshti University refused to walk over US and Israeli flags in protest of against their anti-Western government. In some clips shared on social media, protesters can reportedly be heard chanting: ‘They are lying that our enemy is America, our enemy is right here’.
— مملکته (@mamlekate) January 12, 2020
— Farnaz Fassihi (@farnazfassihi) January 13, 2020
In the modern history of #Iran, this is momentous.
— S. Rifai (@THE_47th) January 13, 2020
Deeply disturbed by videos showing people at Amirkabir University in Tehran being beaten and tear-gassed. Their chants are against the state’s incompetence and cruelty. Iranians have constituonal right to peaceful protest without threat of state violence. pic.twitter.com/fwRvQnViI0
— Hadi Ghaemi (@hadighaemi) January 11, 2020
— Golnaz Esfandiari (@GEsfandiari) January 11, 2020
Iranians have a constituonal right to protest without the threat of state violence and to demand accountability from their government.
— IranHumanRights.org (@ICHRI) January 12, 2020
— Farnaz Fassihi (@farnazfassihi) January 12, 2020
— Maryam Nayeb Yazdi (@maryamnayebyazd) January 13, 2020
— Borzou Daragahi 🖊🗒 (@borzou) January 12, 2020