Tourists and business travelers currently in Iran should be aware of what some say are violent and possibly deadly ongoing protests. Visitors should remain in their hotels until the security situation becomes more clear, and local officials and tour guides are given a green light. There are no new travel warnings or advisories issued for the Islamic Republic of Iran at this time. The unusual situation is, that protests are emerging everywhere in Iran at this time – and are not concentrated on the capital Teheran only.

Here is some of the confusing chatter coming from Iran at this time:

  • IT’S HAPPENING! The Iranian Revolutionary Guard is crossing over in the Iranian Protests and being “warmly welcomed” by the Iran protesters!
  • It’s fake, I’m from Iran and I tell you it’s fake as hell
  • Please open Amadnews channel and support democracy in Iran, because Amadnews is The voice of protest of the Iranian people.
  • German public TV “ZDF” condemns the United States for “egging on tensions” in Iran. The utter indifference to the legitimate aspiration for freedom from tyranny that is on display here is breathtaking.
  • “There will be no democratic change in Iran. There could be a revolution.”
  • “I truly hope what we are witnessing is the birth of a new Iranian nation without the radical Islamic clerics who have ruled Iran with an iron Fist since 1979 their own personal fiefdom you might say.”

There are different versions of what is really going on in the Islamic Republic.

The executives of Telegram, the widely-used messaging app in Iran, are heeding calls from Iranian government officials to better police its users, as rallies in support and protest of the government sweep the country.

Telegram is a major platform for information in Iran and counts more than 40 million users among the country’s 80 million people. And it has played an especially key role in this week’s anti-government protests against Ayatollah Khamenei. Counter-rallies supporting the government also emerged on Saturday.

But also on Saturday, the Iranian telecommunications minister, Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, wrote a message on Twitter to Pavel Durov, the CEO and founder of Telegram.

A few hours later, the Dubai-based Durov signaled that he would take the government’s request seriously. And by later the same day, Durov had apparently confirmed the problem and announced that Telegram would suspend the channel.

The official version is seen on Iranian Press TV says:

“Millions of Iranians across the country are commemorating the anniversary of the 2009 mass rallies that were held in support of the Islamic Republic and put an end to post-election unrest back then.

On Saturday, people from all walks of life took part in demonstrations and ceremonies in several Iranian cities to mark the “Dey 9 epic,” which refers to the historic rallies held on the ninth day of the Persian calendar month of Dey.

On December 30, 2009, millions of Iranians held nation-wide protests to condemn the foreign-orchestrated unrest, which had erupted following the presidential elections earlier that year.

People were especially angered by incidents that had taken place days earlier in Tehran, where a group of demonstrators offended the sanctities of the nation on the day of Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia Imam.”

The unrest was orchestrated by Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Musavi, two of the candidates who had lost the election, claiming that the results had been rigged. Both remain under house arrest on charges of provoking the public and harming the national security.

Russian Media (RT ) reports
‘The West focuses only on anti-government rallies’: Thousands protest for & against authorities in Iran.

Large crowds have gathered across Iran in a demonstration of loyalty to the government as opposition protests showed no signs of abating. Tehran meanwhile slammed Washington’s “interference” and “deceptive support” of the unrest.

The ongoing protests in Iran started as a rally against soaring food prices and unemployment, snowballing into the biggest anti-government movement in eight years. On Saturday, according to videos posted on social media, the protesters, who appear to be predominantly young and male, were seen jostling with riot police, throwing stones, burning fires, and hauling down a billboard of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.”

From the United States reports are emerging:
US State Department Hints At Iran Overthrow: Are We Witnessing The Early Stages Of Regime Change?  US President Donald Trump today told Iran in a tweet: “The world is watching the situation in Iran!” This is unusual for the US President to get involved in foreign protests, specially with his policy on America first.”

The US State Department has issued a formal condemnation of the Iranian government following two days of economic protests centering in a handful of cities, calling the regime “a rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos” while announcing support for protesters.It fits a familiar script which seems to roll out when anyone protests for any reason in a country considered an enemy of the United States (whether over economic grievances or full on calling for government overthrow).

Even though social media may be blocked at this time, there are social media messages coming through from Iran or from sources connected to Iran. Here is what some say:

  • Protesters have stormed the governor’s building in #Arak City.
  • Iraq, Libya, Syria and Iran is also in their agenda It’s so obvious that somebody else is controlling our politics They are so smart using American money and blood
  • Wow!!! Now if revolutionary guards come on streets to crush protest, US might open a front using its Arab allies, Israel. And US Navy can light up the gulf of Hormuz, thus keeping them engaged and eroding. Only Putin can save this Iran regime now.
  • The Qatari regime is defending Iran with all its might, what they found in Iran and did not find in the Arab and Islamic countries? Is Iran defending Arabs and Muslims more than Saudi Arabia?
  • IranProtests is important they need Help! @CNN @FoxNews #Media Please help them get the word out! Their internet was just cut off! Obama failed the people of #Iran!
  • Iranians want a secular government. They want a democracy that promotes science, art, education, culture, music, technology not just for nukes. They want free markets, free speech, and religious liberty.
  • People lost their way ! if the Islamic Republic falls there won’t be any person to lead them…and it leads to absolute chaos…you can see some of the worst things they are doing right now in my page…they are making weapons!!!!!!
  • I support the Green Revolution and Freedom for Iran, NOW!
  • Exactly what many of us believe. Further plunging Iran into isolation is not good for Israel or the US. Don’t you think Russia will be right there to use Iran as a proxy in war against the US? You think North Korea developed nukes on their own? That’s laughable.
  • Well strikingly quiet are the UK, France & Germany governments – basically all signatories of the JCPOA. The Russians won’t say shit since they have arms deals with Iran. Shame on them!
  • What is happening in Iran right now is amazing. Hope it turns out well for the people.
Large crowds have gathered across Iran in a demonstration of loyalty to the government as opposition protests showed no signs of abating. Tehran meanwhile slammed Washington’s “interference” and “deceptive support” of the unrest.
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