Voice of America coverage of the Iranian protests.
12/31/17 5:45 p.m. — VOA Persian Division Director Setareh Derakhshesh got exclusive comments from senior U.S. official Michael Anton, deputy assistant to the president for strategic communications, on the latest developments in Iran on Sunday. Story to come.
12/31/17 5:45 p.m. — Iranian callers to the Sunday edition of VOA Persian’s Straight Talk program disagreed about whether foreign intervention in the protests is desirable:
A caller named Farhad from Tehran said, “Right now, we are on the streets for a revolution. (President) Trump — you pledged to help us — please do so.”
But the next caller, named Siamak and also from Tehran, said Farhad was mistaken. “We should take care of our own business,” he said.
12/31/17 5:39 p.m. — Behnam Ben Taleblu, senior Iran analyst for Foundation for Defense of Democracies, talking about the Iran protests with VOA’s Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb: “Whether you’re urban or rural, you see the governing elite, and in fact the system of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as an impediment to your daily life.”
12/31/17 5:18 p.m. — Behnam Ben Taleblu, senior Iran analyst for Foundation for Defense of Democracies, tells VOA’s Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb: “What is true is the Iranian people want accountability, respect, justice, and they want their government to put their interests … their national interests ahead of the narrow, factional or regime interests. That’s why you heard slogans like, ‘Not Gaza, Not Lebanon. My life for Iran.’ ”
“Almost all the protests since the Islamic Republic’s inception, and in many ways almost all the protests in the last century and a half of modern-Iranian history are all linked. And that’s why I think you see much-more strident anti-regime rhetoric in this protest which is clear to say is a continuation of that protest (in 2009).”
12/31/17 5:15 p.m. — President Trump Tweets: “Iran, the Number One State of Sponsored Terror with numerous violations of Human Rights occurring on an hourly basis, has now closed down the Internet so that peaceful demonstrators cannot communicate. Not good!”