The Iranian regime “has been touched by the region’s two-month-old turmoil” with a renewal of street protests, the Associated Press said in an analysis of regional developments on Thursday.
The Iranian regime “meanwhile, has shown again its split personality.” It has portrayed itself “as a sort of father figure for the pro-democracy movements,” but at the same time, the regime’s officials “are showing no mercy to oppositions groups in a country rejuvenated by the chain-reaction uprisings.”
Protesters’ chants were similar to those during the 2009 uprisings, AP said, “but with a current twist.”
“Ben Ali, Mubarak, it’s Seyed Ali’s turn,” protesters cried last week, linking the toppled Tunisian and Egyptian presidents with the mullahs’ Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Riot police moved in with tear gas and batons, it added.
“More than once, the Obama administration and others have taken jabs at Tehran’s ‘hypocrisy.’”
Comparing the regime’s response to Saudi Arabia’s when it comes to regional uprisings, AP added, “Saudi Arabia’s rulers answered the Arab world’s winter of rage with money: throwing $36 billion into housing and other social assistance channels in attempts to quell rumblings of dissent.”
The regime’s president, however, “offered more bombast as Tehran tries to project sympathy for protesters.”