My take on #Iranprotests. People in the streets in Iran don’t have one common goal. Some want the fall of the regime. Others want reform, end of corruption, end of money being siphoned to Lebanon & Syria - but they also realize how brutal the repression may get if the core institutions of the regime, like the Supreme Leader and the Revolutionary Guards feel threatened.
And the Revolutionary Guards know how to repress rebellion. They did not just take part in the fight against Daesh/IS. They are also trained from crushing rebellion in Syria, siding with the Assad regime.
The “best” thing for the hardliners of the regime would be if they could blame the street protests on ‘foreign hands’, mainly Trump and Saudi Arabia.
The outside world should let the Iranian people inside the country sort out this for themselves. Without any attempts of foreign interference.
The European Union has a delicate role to play as a defender of the JCPOA, the nuclear deal, and as a union that should enhance European interest, the principles of human rights and international law. After Trump it is no longer possible to talk about 'the West' as a united body vis-à-vis Iran.
The European Union has a much deeper understanding of Iran than the U.S.
Washington lost its knowledge on Iran after 39 years of broken diplomatic relations. Obama tried to mend fences with Tehran, but his legacy was destroyed by Trump, as we all know.
This is my view after lots of visits to Iran during the last 15 years, the last one in November 2017.