The Iranian government is facing mounting protests at home, where Iranian security forces are reportedly using live ammunition on Iranian citizens. The citizens were protesting the government shooting down an airliner that took off from Tehran. All 176 onboard, including 82 Iranians died in the shootdown. The government admitted that it “lied to the people” but they remain steadfast in their threatening manner.
Now Iran is threatening both the troops of the European Union over the scrapped nuclear deal and Greece for an attack that hasn’t even happened yet.
President Hassan Rouhani’s televised cabinet meeting on Iranian television Wednesday brought the threats against not only the U.S. troops but against the E.U: “Today, the American soldier is in danger, tomorrow the European soldier could be in danger,” Rouhani said. “We want you to leave this region but not with war. We want you to go wisely. It is to your own benefit.”
Rouhani scoffed at the U.K.’s Boris Johnson’s suggestion to return to the negotiating table to replace the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). “I don’t know what the prime minister in London was thinking when he was saying to put aside the JCPOA and implement the ‘Trump deal’,” Rouhani said. “Trump has done nothing but violate international covenants and laws.”
In a stunning admission, Rouhani and Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif admitted that they were unaware that the Ukraine airliner, Flight 752 was shot down by their own forces until Friday, days after the shootdown had happened and countless denials had been voiced. Rouhani, with an eye on the protests ongoing in the country, then tried to deflect the public’s anger from the government to the Revolutionary Guard.
“In the last few nights, we’ve had people in the streets of Tehran demonstrating against the fact that they were lied to for a couple of days,” Zarif said. It lends credence to at least the thought, ‘who runs Iran?’ Is it the government or the Revolutionary Guard?
What really triggered the Iranians however was that the governments of France, Germany, and the UK, the E3 — all parties to the nuclear deal, along with the European Union (EU) — invoked provisions within the JCPOA, known as the Dispute Resolution Mechanism (DRM), in an effort to bring Iran back into compliance. This move by the Europeans can be seen as a last-ditch effort to save the nuclear deal — or if it fails, to sink it.
Earlier, the Iranians threatened Greece over the possible use of Greek bases by the United States, if the U.S. decides to attack Iran.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis supported the killing of General Qassem Soleimani
Mitsotakis said of the Soleimani drone attack, “We are allies [of] the U.S., so we stand by our allies through difficult times. I understand this particular decision was taken by taking into consideration what is the U.S. national interest and we stand by that decision.”
He added, “at the same time, one needs to be fully aware of the fact that there is a broader concern in the region about a possible escalation and I think efforts should be made… to move towards moves that will deescalate the overall tension and hope that this is a message that will be received by everyone.”
The Iranian Embassy in Athens sent a letter to the Greeks threatening them if they allow the U.S. to use its bases for offensive action against Iran. “The Islamic Republic of Iran has made it very clear that in the event of a U.S.-led war against the country, the concession of bases by any country to the American invader will be considered a hostile act and Iran reserves the right to respond in a clear and decisive manner.”
The letter continued with softer terms, “given the friendly, traditional and historical relations between the two countries, Iran and Greece, and the absence of any differences or tension between them in recent centuries, we believe that this statement cannot be the official position of the Greek government and our friendly and historical relations will continue in the future.”
However, the Iranian government continues to blame everyone else for the situation. Their proxy militias have attacked bases, where U.S. troops are housed in Iraq, over a dozen times in the past few months. They attacked the U.S. Embassy for two days. But they continue with this line of blaming the U.S.
“It was the U.S. that caused such an incident to take place,” Rouhani was quoted by the official Iranian news service as saying of the airliner that was shot down.
The BBC has reported that the citizen who filmed the shootdown of the Ukraine Flight 752 airliner, has been arrested on charges of violating national security. Several people have been arrested over the shootdown of the airliner by the Revolutionary Guard — those are only the people who protested the shootdown of the jet.