Why Donald Trump has chosen this moment to show fake compassion for the Iranian people, picturing the Iranian government as an authoritarian regime? We've seen the scenario endless times by the US White House puppets in the past every time they wanted to get rid of any government that didn't obey to US imperialism. But in this case, why now?
Tehran-based reporter, Reza Sayah and Trita Parsi, founder and president of the National Iranian American Council spoke to DemocracyNow and gave an explanation for the timing of Trump's statements, which has to do with sabotaging the Iranian nuclear deal.
As Reza Sayah states:
Once Donald Trump came into office, the policy changed to confrontation. The Iranians were hoping that the nuclear deal would lead to international trade with the Europeans. A lot of Europeans are eager to make some deals with the Iranian government. But I think a lot of people are aware that the global economy still is controlled by the US dollar, the US government. And Washington has shown that they don’t support this nuclear deal. And that’s why a lot of Europeans, a lot of European countries, have held back in making deals with Iran.
Trita Parsi goes further:
What is coming up in January is a deadline in which the U.S. is obligated to renew waivers on the sanctions, as long as Iran is living up to its end of the bargain. All of the reports from the IAEA show that the Iranians are complying with the agreement. And as a result, the U.S. is obligated to renew these waivers; otherwise, the U.S. will be out of compliance with the deal. This deadline is coming up sometime around January 12th.
And with these protests, I believe that Donald Trump has now found a new pretext to do what he had planned to do all along: to not renew the waivers and, as a result, essentially walk away from this deal. And then the question is if this deal will be able to survive without the United States. With the protests going on, he has a new pretext, and it will probably be easier for him to make this decision and sell it in Washington, compared to if he had done it three, four months ago.
As Patrick Cockburn points out:
So far President Rouhani and his administration have reacted in a low-key way to the protests, appealing for calm and saying people have the right to demonstrate, but not to destroy property or engage in violence. The government is clearly hoping that the demonstrations will run out of steam, but so far the opposite seems to be happening. The number of arrests is still low – 200 in Tehran by Sunday – but Mr Rouhani must be under pressure to crack down and not to appear weak.
This he may do eventually, but well-publicised suppression of protests might increase public support for them in Iran and would certainly lead to the US and West Europeans jumping to the defence of human rights in Iran with an enthusiasm they have failed to show in countries such as Yemen where a Saudi-led blockade has brought eight million people to the edge of famine.
Bloody suppression of protests might also push the West Europeans towards Mr Trump’s aggressive posture towards Iran and fatally undermine the nuclear deal.
So it's quite clear what Trump is trying to do. He tries to set the preconditions for killing the Iranian nuclear deal for good, by forcing the US Western allies to follow the plan. Human rights is the pretext - for one more time - that will be used for this purpose.