Macron urges dialogue with Iran, slams strong rhetoric — France

Opponents of Iranian President

Opponents of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani hold a protest outside the Iranian embassy in west London Britain

What's going on in Iran? As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I recognized the lack of action for what it was: an abdication of American leadership. "With the help of God", he said, "their defeat is definite". "The US is watching!" Who is protesting against whom? But Tehran has also organized militias from Afghanistan, called the Fatimiyoun, and Pakistan, called the Zeynabiyoun, to fight in Syria.

Video of Thursday's protest in Sanandaj, Iran sent to VOA's Persian Service.

"In a serious clash with the regime, it would be crushed". They have cut off the internet in all the small cities.

At this stage it is useless to predict the outcome of these protests. Moscow has criticized Washington's call for the meeting. Others suggested that Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, should "let the country go".

Fortunately, in recent days, demonstrations have erupted across Iran, in opposition to widespread repression and economic problems.

Despite certain similarities with the Arab Uprising, the current Iran protests do have the capability to effect change. They are all aimed at Rouhani's government. The experiences of the presidencies of Mohammad Khatami and now Hassan Rouhani prove this contention. Foreign companies are interested in working on Iran's oil fields but find it hard to navigate the country's arduous regulations. Fresh sanctions would restrict the economy further and certainly do nothing to materially improve the lives of ordinary Iranians.

Rouhani on Sunday acknowledged there was "no problem bigger than unemployment", and also vowed a more balanced media and more transparency. Though the sanctions were lifted by the Obama administration, there has been indefinite uncertainty about whether the Trump administration might reinstate them. They submit that these facts disqualify him from offering genuine support to the Iranian people. Or, if they were, they seemed to focus on the "counter-protests" in support of the government.

Rouhani's political formulas are ineffective in the face of the mounting problems he must tackle. But this time, the hardliners' calculation went badly wrong. And with lightning speed, numerous slogans against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei began to spread through the social networks.

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Her analysis states that Iran's economy "has indeed made some achievements, such as lowering inflation and with an increase in its growth rate". It did not say when the arrest was made.

None of that, however, means the country's anger has been soothed. He said the heavy usage figures on the prime minister's various social media sites indicate a "much deeper trend".

Iran's Revolutionary Guard were deployed to three provinces on Wednesday. But it will come should the unrest assume dimensions that jeopardise the system.

In November, the semi-official Fars news agency reported the death of an Iranian brigadier general in Boukamal, a Syrian town overlooking one of the country's main crossings into Iran. More than 20 demonstrators have died in clashes with police, and a government crackdown has intensified in recent days with more than 450 people arrested in Tehran alone, according to news agencies.

This is a message which historically has gone down well in Iran.

A source in Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's office said he discussed the week-long unrest in Iran during a telephone call with Rouhani. Finally, the attribution of popular discontent to foreign influences is a traditional propaganda ploy by the Teheran government. "If we are not careful, we will end up surreptitiously rebuilding an 'axis of evil'", Mr Macron added, referring to a comment by former US president George W. Bush, who used the term to describe the 'rogue' regimes of Iran, Iraq and North Korea.

In Montreal, protesters gathered peacefully on the corner of Guy St. and de Maisonneuve Blvd.

In a world that is not short of conflict and crises, attention is now focused on the nationwide protests which have been rattling Iran's clerical leadership for the past week.

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