Netanyahu's speech reawakens Iranian protests against regime

"The Islamic Republic took us hostage. You have to differentiate between Iran, which has a history of 3,000 years, and the Islamic Republic, which is 39 years old."

By OZ ROSENBERG/MAARIV
May 2, 2018 16:12
2 minute read.
Thousands of people rally in support of Iranian anti-government protests in Los Angeles, California

Thousands of people rally in support of Iranian anti-government protests in Los Angeles, California US January 7, 2018. (photo credit: MONICA ALMEIDA/REUTERS)

 
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"The speech by Netanyahu reawakened something in the Iranian people that greatly disturbs them," Dr. Thamar Eilam Gindin, an expert on Iran from the Shalem Academic Center and the Ezri Center said in her podcast "Enriched Uranium" on Wednesday.

Yet, however dramatic and sensitive the information Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented on Monday regarding Iran's intentions to develop nuclear technology were, what was disturbing to the Iranians was not at all related to the content of his remarks.

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Israel claims proof Iran "lied" about past nuclear program, April 30, 2018 (Reuters

"I saw a large number of people who asked not to call Iran the Islamic Republic," said Eilam Gindin. "There were many calls from people who said: 'They [the Islamic Republic of Iran] do not represent the Iranian people, they took us hostage. You have to differentiate between Iran, which has a history of 3,000 years, and the Islamic Republic, which is 39 years old."

In a broader light, according to Dr. Eilam Gindin, these reactions reflect a mood currently prevailing in the streets of Iran in relation to the regime and the authorities in the republic, the United States and Israel and Netanyahu himself.

"At first the reactions were a bit hysterical," she continued. "People in Iran feel insecure, their currency is weak and the economy is shaky. There are many who oppose the regime. Netanyahu's speech, claiming that Israel caught their regime in a breach of agreements, put some pressure on them.

They also very much want their regime to fall. There are many keyboard warriors but when it comes to taking to the streets, they are scared. Recently the hashtag "We're done!" was used a lot and it returned yesterday in the wake of Netanyahu's speech.

On Monday, Prime Minister Netanyahu presented what he described as the reveal of a huge amount of intelligence material obtained by the Mossad proving that Iran lied to the superpowers while they were signing the 2015 nuclear agreement which lifted sanctions on the country.

Among other things, Netanyahu presented hundreds of binders containing copies of the material obtained by Israeli intelligence. "Here's what we have in the files: incriminating documents, incriminating presentations, incriminating plans, pictures, clips and more," Netanyahu said.

"We shared this information with the United States and shared it with the International Atomic Energy Agency," the prime minister added. "We have known for years that Iran had a secret nuclear program - the 'Amad' project."

Netanyahu's speech was made in light of the United States threatening to withdraw from the nuclear agreement it signed in 2015, unless it is amended until May 12.

Translated by Juliane Helmhold.

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