Analysis & Opinions - The Atlantic

Donald Trump Doesn't Understand What's Happening in Iran

| Jan. 01, 2018

The president's tweets about the recent protests are misleading and dangerous to protesters.

The protests that have rattled Iran this weekend are in many ways an echo of the near past. In the summer of 2009, millions of Iranians took to the streets to protest the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose rhetoric and policies had isolated their country for four years.

The opposition believed his reelection victory was fraudulent. They chanted slogans demanding a recount of the votes. Others denounced the regime and its highest authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Hardliners and security forces confronted the crowds with anti-riot gear and harsh condemnation, often labeling them agents of foreign powers. It was a huge moment and seemed, at the time, to portend an irreversible shift in geopolitics.

But the protests, now known as the Green Movement, died out after a few months. Some protesters left the country, others were arrested or killed. Mostly, they went back to their daily lives.

Now, Iran is experiencing the first large-scale unrests since the Green Movement faded.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Tabatabai, Ariane.“Donald Trump Doesn't Understand What's Happening in Iran.” The Atlantic, January 1, 2018.

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