Iranwire – On the fifteenth day of the protests in Iran, which began with the murder of Mahsa Amini, Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary General of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, a militant organization supported by the Islamic Republic, called the protests the result of “incitement by Western countries and some countries in the Persian Gulf”, which in his vocabulary and the Islamic Republic’s vocabulary means Saudi Arabia.
Why does Nasrallah not consider the protests and demands of Iranian citizens to be authentic and what is he seeking by making such public statements?
A few days before the start of a new round of protests in Iran, Nasrallah fulfilled his promise to accept “free” Iranian oil and pass it on to Lebanese refineries. The Islamic Republic denied that the oil was free, but after four decades of Iranian government support for Hezbollah, few will have taken this claim at face value.
Hassan Nasrallah is the most important foreign ally of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Hezbollah is a Shiite militia group founded by the first generation of IRGC commanders as a proxy force in Lebanon.
The Revolutionary Guards provide the leaders of Hezballah with military training and ideological teachings, weapons and financial support.
In return, Lebanese Hezbollah forces help make the Islamic Republic’s problems go away, carrying out kidnappings, revenge bombings and assassinations of officials of the Shah’s government. It is claimed they have assisted in suppressing protests inside Iran.
When the Islamic Republic stood in support of Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, Hezbollah stood side-by-side with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in the suppression of the people of Syria.
Hezbollah and Hassan Nasrollah, its Secretary General and leader, are indebted to the Islamic Republic.
During Israel’s 33-day war against Hezbollah, which destroyed part of Lebanon’s urban infrastructure, the Islamic Republic of Iran paid for its immediate reconstruction.
After the JCPOA nuclear agreement in 2015, which ended international sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program and provided Tehran with billions of dollars in frozen assets, Nasrollah welcomed the agreement in a public speech. The reason for his happiness was the filling of the Islamic Republic funds, and he did not hesitate to express it.
Nasrollah had said that Hezbollah has no financial worries as long as the Islamic Republic has money, and for the first time he revealed unequivocally that Tehran provides them with money and weapons.
Tehran in return considers itself indebted to the armed forces of the militant Hezbollah.
When Iranians protested the death of Mahsa Amini in morality police detention, there were reports of the re-appearance of Hezbollah forces and of protestors hearing their conversations in Arabic. There had been a similar narrative during the protests against the presidential elections in 2009. Hezbollah has never denied participating in the repression of Iranian citizens.
Now, once again, the Islamic Republic is facing widespread protests, which are led by women and girls, and according to the IRGC media, the main participants are people under the age of 25.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the 83-year-old leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who has been the undisputed ruler of the country since the age of 50, is at the center of protests. A powerful man who has stood against the national demand and public will in Iran for transformation in the last thirty years, he has been the main supporter of Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
Protests have spread in towns and cities across Iran and, on September 30 and October 1, they were supported by the historic and unprecedented show of solidarity by Iranians in 150 cities outside the country. Ayatollah Khamenei is facing the most widespread protests in the history of his rule, and in the meantime, not even Russia under the leadership of Vladimir Putin has shown any signs of supporting Tehran, at least not during the first 16 days.
Nasrollah is the only leader in a foreign country who has supported Ayatollah Khamenei, but his support is an insult to the Iranian people, ignoring their will and wishes.
He maintains the protests to be the result of the provocation of the Iranian people by America, the West, and the enemies of the Islamic Republic:
“Successive American governments have come to the understanding that Iran is a powerful and honorable country, and therefore they have never waged war against this country. However, they have always turned to advance their plans inside Iran and seditiously, imposing sanctions to provoke protests inside Iran.”
Nasrollah’s blind support of the Islamic Republic’s cruelty and disregard for the demands of Iranian citizens is not without cause. He will not survive without the Islamic Republic and its cash. It is not suprising that the Islamic Republic demands his support in suppressing protest now, and Ali Khamenei rewards his efforts.