After the mistaken shooting down of a passenger plane, criticism of the leadership of the islamic republic is also growing in iran. After initial demonstrations on saturday, there were again protests on sunday, some of them rough.
Protesters received support from u.S. President donald trump, who assured them of assistance. "We follow their protests closely and are inspired by their courage," he wrote in twitter messages in english and persian to the "brave, long-suffering" iranian people.
Up to 3000 people protested against the government in west tehran on sunday, according to the ILNA news agency . The participants also criticized the cover-up of facts by the iranian government at the asadi place.
Trump warned iranian leadership sunday against violent crackdown on anti-government protesters. "Don’t kill your demonstrators," he wrote in all caps on twitter. "Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by them." Trump warned: "the world is watching. More importantly, the U.S. Is watching." Later he repeated the twitter message in persian.
On the fringes of protests in tehran, the british ambassador was briefly detained on saturday evening. He said he had attended a memorial rally for the crash victims, including britons, but left the event after only five minutes when slogans were shouted. The tasnim news agency, on the other hand, reported that ambassador rob macaire had encouraged demonstrators to carry out "radical actions" in front of the amir kabir university.
The iranian auben ministry summoned macaire on sunday, saying his participation in an "illegal rally" had violated diplomatic regulations. In addition, there are said to have been protests against macaire in front of the british embassy. According to eyewitnesses, protesters loyal to the regime burned the british flag and demanded the ambassador’s expulsion.
The government in london condemned the detention of the ambassador as an "egregious violation of international law," and the federal government made a similar statement. The EU also expressed its concern. Ambassadors enjoy immunity in host country, protecting them from criminal and civil prosecution.
After days of denial, iran admitted on saturday that it was responsible for the downing of the 176-passenger ukrainian airliner. The revolutionary guards said the plane had been mistakenly classified as an enemy carrier in the midst of the military confrontation with the united states and then shot down. The authorities had previously denied this for days, saying it was a technical defect.
President hassan ruhani promised a thorough investigation and said that the "unforgivable incident" would be prosecuted in a legally consistent manner. In addition, the victim families should be compensated. The supreme leader, ayatollah ali khamenei, expressed his deepest sympathy and called for a complete clarification.
Ukrainian head of state volodymyr selenskyi accepted ruhani’s apology and announced demands for compensation. Iran had to pay about 100 million dollars (85 million euros) in compensation for the shootdown, the deputy head of the iranian insurance authority told the isna news agency on sunday. Of which $70 million would be for the plane and the rest for 176 victims.
German defense minister annegret kramp-karrenbauer called for consequences for those responsible. "It must be cleared up and those responsible must be held accountable," the CDU leader said in bitburg on sunday. "Innocent people have been murdered and we can’t just let that stand in the open like that."
In the meantime, the air force has also ceased its reconnaissance and refueling flights as part of the international mission against the islamic state (IS) terrorist militia. According to the bundeswehr in potsdam on sunday, the last reconnaissance flight took place on 7. January from jordan held. From jordan, the air force has been involved in anti-IS operations with tornado reconnaissance and tanker aircraft, including flights over syria and iraq.
Since the downing of the passenger plane, several foreign airlines, including lufthansa and austrian airlines, have suspended their flights to tehran. The situation had escalated after the U.S. Killed iranian general ghassem soleimani in baghdad. After iran’s retaliatory attack on U.S.-used military bases in iraq, trump and ruhani announced their intention to take the conflict back to the political level.
There were protests in iran again on sunday. According to information from the news agency isna, hundreds took part in rallies at the universities of beheschti and alarme tabatabei. Many called for the resignation of those responsible for the shootdown and cover-up attempt. According to eyewitnesses, police and security forces have been stationed at various locations in tehran because of possible demonstrations.
Trump demanded on twitter that the iranian government allow human rights organizations to monitor and report on the ongoing protests. "There can be neither another massacre of peaceful demonstrators nor a shutdown of the internet. The world is watching."
Iran’s only olympic medalist has since left the country, citing the political situation as the reason for her flight. Taekwondo fighter kimia alisadeh described herself on instagram on sunday as "one of the millions of oppressed women in iran".
In iran’s nuclear conflict with the u.S., germany and russia want to stick to the 2015 agreement despite the latest setbacks. Both countries are in favor of continuing to implement this agreement, kremlin leader vladimir putin said after speaking with chancellor angela merkel in moscow. Merkel stressed that all diplomatic channels had to be used. The goal is to prevent iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Putin recalled that it was the U.S. Withdrawal that led to iran’s suspension of its voluntary commitments under the agreement. Iran announced a few days ago that it would no longer observe restrictions on the number and models of its centrifuges. This means that the country can now continue its nuclear program indefinitely and also enrich uranium without limit.
In the nuclear agreement with the five UN veto powers and germany, iran had pledged to shape its nuclear program so that the country could not build atomic bombs. In turn, sanctions should be lifted. The u.S. Imposed massive sanctions on tehran after it pulled out of the agreement.
Germany, france and great britain on sunday urged iran to resume its commitments under the nuclear agreement with the west. "It is essential that iran returns to full compliance with its obligations under the vienna nuclear agreement," merkel, france’s president emmanuel macron and british prime minister boris johnson stressed in a joint statement.