January 11, 2020

IRAN: Massive Protests Erupt To Demand Iran's Theocratic Dictator Ali Khamenei's Resignation After Officials Shot Down A Commercial Plane Killing 176 Civilians On Board Flight To Ukraine.

Business Insider
written by Ellen Cranley
Saturday January 11, 2020

Thousands of protestors flooded the streets of Tehran days after Iran shot down a Ukrainian commercial airliner, killing all 176 passengers on board.

Emotional vigils for the passengers who were killed in the attack devolved into fiery demonstrations that saw Iranians marching with signs to demand the resignation of the country's leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In video captured by The New York Times, angry protestors chanted "death to the dictator," and "shameless," with protestors on university campuses reportedly calling the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps "incompetent" and "the people's shame."
Video posted to social media showed the protests triggered violent clashes with riot police, who responded with tear gas.
Tensions in the country reached a breaking point when Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752, which was carrying at least 130 Iranian citizens, was shot down on January 8 by Revolutionary Guard air defense forces after it took off from Tehran.

The country initially denied responsibility for the plane crash, suggesting it was a mechanical problem. However, in a statement released by military officials early January 11, Iran admitted to hitting the plane with a missile.

Despite the statement, foreign minister Javad Zarif immediately pointed some blame at the US, saying the crash was caused by "human error at a time of crisis caused by US adventurism."

US-Iran relations quickly devolved as the countries have traded barbs since Iran's attacks in retaliation to the US killing of Qassem Soleimani, a top military official, who was killed by a drone strike ordered by President Donald Trump.
REMINDER or better yet, CLARIFICATION to this NYT's writer above to this misrepresented statement about reason why President Trump ordered Soleimani be taken out. Iran had committed many crimes against the United States and Iran got away with it. President Trump drew a red line and threatened to retaliate against Iran if ANY AMERICAN is killed by Iran under his watch. Iran attacked our military and killed an American contractor. The U.S. killed dozens of Iran-backed Hezbollah Islamic militant group in Iraq that were responsible for attack with missiles strikes in response. Then Iran ordered these same Iranian-backed Hezbollah Islamic militant group to first appear to be "protesting" outside of our U.S. Embassy in Bagdad, Iraq. Then Iran through their Hezbollah Islamic militant group stormed, ATTACKED our U.S. Embassy, which is U.S. soil. They would have KILLED MORE AMERICANS inside our U.S. Embassy if President Trump didn't react IMMEDIATELY to send our U.S. Marines to safeguard our U.S. Embassy and stop terrorist attack by Iran against the U.S.

BOTH Qassem Soleimani AND Hezbollah Islamic militant group ARE classified as TERRORISTS by the U.S. and other countries. U.S. Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) OPENLY support and defend Hezbollah and Hamas Islamic militant groups that are Iranian-backed terror organizations. (emphasis mine)

written by Maia Davis
Saturday January 11, 2020

A group of Iranian protesters demanded Saturday that the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, step down after the government said its military had by mistake shot down a Ukrainian plane, killing all 176 people on board.

Also on Saturday, Iran briefly detained the British ambassador to Iran.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab slammed the Iranian action as breaking international law.

"The arrest of our Ambassador in Tehran without grounds or explanation is a flagrant violation of international law," Raab said. "The Iranian government is at a cross-roads moment. It can continue its march towards pariah status with all the political and economic isolation that entails, or take steps to deescalate tensions and engage in a diplomatic path forwards."

The protesters in Iran on Saturday expressed anger at what they perceived as an initial cover-up on the cause of the crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752, which went down shortly after it took off from Tehran early Wednesday.

Prior to Iran's admission Saturday, it had denied shooting down the plane.

Those aboard the doomed flight included 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians, including the nine crew members. Ten passengers were from Sweden, four from Afghanistan, three from Germany and three from the United Kingdom.
U.S. intelligence officials had said earlier that evidence suggested the plane was shot down by an Iranian missile by mistake, multiple officials said.

"Commander-in-chief (Khamenei) resign, resign," videos posted on Twitter showed hundreds of people chanting, in front of Tehran’s Amir Kabir university.

The crowds included middle-class professionals, as well as students.

President Donald Trump weighed in Saturday, tweeting support for the protesters.
UPDATE 1/11/2020 at 4:24pm: Added info below.
Business Insider
written by Frank Olito
Saturday January 11, 2020

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is speaking out about the commercial airplane that Iran accidentally shut down Wednesday, saying he expects a full admission of guilt.

On Saturday, the president said in the statement that he wants more answers from Iran after it admitted to mistakenly shooting down a Ukraine International Airlines plane and killing 176 passengers on board.

"Iran has pleaded guilty to crashing the Ukrainian plane, but we insist on a full admission of guilt," President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said. "We expect from Iran assurances of their readiness for a full and open investigation, bringing those responsible to justice, the return of the bodies of the dead, the payment of compensation, official apologies through diplomatic channels."

Iran initially denied involvement in the plane crash, but videos showed that a ground-to-air missile in Iran shot down the plane just hours after the country launched missiles on US troops in a military base in Iraq. It wasn't until Friday that the country took responsibility for the crash, blaming it on human error.

Onboard the plane, there were 82 Iranians, 11 Ukrainians, 63 Canadians, students, and newlyweds — all of whom died in the crash.
UPDATE 1/11/2020 at 4:31pm: Added info below.
CBS News
written by Staff
Saturday January 11, 2020

The British ambassador to Iran was arrested Saturday in Iran, the U.S. State Department said. The arrest occurred as hundreds protested in Tehran after the government admitted it had "unintentionally" shot down a jetliner earlier this week.

President Trump tweeted support to Iranians who backed protesters.

President Trump said Friday that four U.S. embassies, including the American Embassy in Baghdad, were targeted in a planned attack orchestrated by Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in an American drone strike last week. The president made the new comments in a Fox News interview as his administration faces pressure to provide more information about the imminent threat Iran's top general posed that justified the U.S. strike.

The U.S. State Department said Saturday that the British ambassador to Iran was arrested. "This violates the Vienna Convention, which the regime has a notorious history of violating. We call on the regime to formally apologize to the UK for violating his rights and to respect the rights of all diplomats," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus tweeted.

The arrest occurred during protests in Tehran, according to BBC News.

In a statement to BBC News, U.K. foreign secretary Dominic Raab said said "the arrest of our ambassador in Tehran without grounds or explanation is a flagrant violation of international law. The Iranian government is at a crossroads moment. It can continue its march toward pariah status with all the political and economic isolation that entails, or take steps to deescalate tensions and engage in a diplomatic path forwards."

UPDATE 1/11/2020 at 5:24pm: Added info below.

Erica Kasraie published Jan 6, 2020: Truth from an Iranian. Speaking truth about the Middle East chaos, Erica Saghar Kasraie is an Iran-born American Middle East expert, activist, and voice for vulnerable religious minorities. She organized and supervised Congressionally-hosted global conferences in Washington for activists to plan the constitutional future of a free, democratic Iran. She was Executive Director of the Iranian Freedom Institute and a research assistant at the School of Culture and Security at the Institute of World Politics, educating the public and lawmakers around the world. Erica and her family fled to Italy shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Erica is the Vice President of Human Rights Policy for the Middle East with the Victor Marx Group.

Follow Erica and learn more about her work at support Erica's work for the Middle East through Victor Marx and All Things Possible: https://victormarx.com/erica/

UPDATE 1/12/2020 at 12:48pm: Added info below.

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