After Iran's announcement of blasting down the Ukrainian plane 'blamelessly', the crisis in the country and international tensions have worsened.
Iranian protesters with a United States flag. / Photo: AFP
LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suárez
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Leer en español: Continúan las tensiones entre EE.UU e Irán
The tensions between the United States and Iran seem endless and, unlike what one might think after the fall of an airplane in Tehran and the death of its 176 passengers, this has only aggravated both the international and internal situation in the Middle Eastern country.
On January 8, a plane exploded in the air for reasons, initially, unknown, minutes after leaving Tehran airport to Kyiv, Ukraine's capital. After speculation, videos with alleged evidence and statements from different nations such as the United States and Canada about the guilt of the 'accident', Iran acknowledged that a human error led to a missile hitting the plane, thus producing the accident that took the life of all passengers and crew.
After denying it for several days, assuming it had been a technical problem of the plane and trying to take control of the black boxes - queen proof to know what would have caused the plane to collapse - Iran said it had been a "disastrous mistake".
The missile that exploded the plane was launched in an equivocal manner, announced the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, because in the midst of clashes with the United States, they had an alert about a possible attack. To respond to this, they launched the missile thinking that the plane was actually an American cruise missile.
However, the death of almost 180 people has not been enough to stop the mood in the region. On the contrary, an American base in Iraq was hit on Sunday. According to information from La Vanguardia de México, "the Security Communication Cell confirmed in a statement the fall of eight Katyusha-type projectiles at this base north of Baghdad and that it has already been attacked several times in the last days."
In the attack on the Al Balad base, 4 people were injured, all from Iraq. The wounded did not reach a greater number because both this and other bases have been evacuated since the tensions worsened.
Since the death of Iranian General Soleimani at the hands of an American drone, the attacks have been to different bases in Iraq and even to the US embassy in that same country. For its part, the United States has said it is continuing discussions to see how to proceed in the face of the attacks while taking economic sanctions against Iran.
The international problem is not the only one facing Iran in this era of tensions that have unleashed concern over a war.
The Iranian people had been united after the death of Quds Force's General, Qasem Soleimani; Hundreds of thousands gathered in downtown Tehran and other cities to honor his death. Days later, hundreds of others meet again in Tehran, but this time to reproach the government for the deaths of 176 people, who included Iranians and Canadians mostly.
After the government accepted the blame for the collapse of the plane, even if it was unintentionally, the citizens gathered to protest against the government for lying after an event of such magnitude and against the Revolutionary Guard for being 'useless', as said in some of the verses they chanted. What began as a vigil to the dead, quickly turned into protests that ended in the dissolution of the demonstration with tear gas.
According to the BBC, "the semi-state news agency Fars published a report of the riots in which it states that up to 1,000 people had chanted slogans against the leaders, in addition to breaking photos of Soleimani." Similarly, in the middle of the rally, citizens demanded that those responsible for the tragedy be prosecuted.
For his part, Donald Trump supported the demonstrations for bravery but asked the Iranian leaders to “not kill the protesters,” since cases of torture and high levels of repression have been reported in this type of demonstrations.
To the brave, long-suffering people of Iran: I've stood with you since the beginning of my Presidency, and my Administration will continue to stand with you. We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2020
Demonstrations in Iran lead to a feeling of fear and repression, because in the last ones, in November 2019, at least 304 people died in addition to thousands being arrested, according to Amnesty International information.