Iranians Come Out to Protest Government’s Shoot-Down of Civilian Aircraft
Scores of Iranians returned to the streets over the weekend to protest the shooting down of a Boeing 737 civilian passenger jet belonging to Ukraine International Airways last week. The so-called “accident,” which claimed 176 lives, took place as the Iranians were firing ballistic missiles into Iraqi military bases that house American forces. Although no U.S. troops were harmed, the loss of almost 200 civilian non-combatants under circumstances still unexplained triggered anger among Iranians. The protests intensified when the government apologized for the alleged error, a number of demonstrators screaming for the resignations of national leadership, most notably that of Ayatollah Khamenei himself. Outdoing those chants were calls of “Death to the Dictator!” – a rare state of affairs for the Supreme Ruler. Opposition and human rights sources on Monday began circulating videos purporting to show Iranian government forces firing on the crowds with live ammunition. Meanwhile, Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah, the head of Tehran’s potent terror proxy Hizbullah in Lebanon, took to the airwaves to warn that the missiles fired at the U.S. personnel are merely the first step in what he said would be a long road of retaliations against the United States and its allies.