Predicting “Persian Spring”, Lieberman Calls for Western Assistance to Iranian Opposition
Israel’s Foreign Minister called for Western governments to assist Iranian opposition groups with money, equipment, and logistics, as protests linked to economic unrest began to break out in Iran this week.
“This time, the West must help the movement, facilitating its communications, giving money and mobilizing international organizations like the UN Security Council, the European Union and other bodies,” Avigdor Lieberman said. The Obama administration and other western leaders have been accused of not doing enough to assist Iran’s opposition during protests against the regime in 2009 after contested presidential elections.
“The Arab Spring will be followed by a Persian Spring, instability is spreading in Iran, and not just in Tehran,” Lieberman told Israeli military radio. “There is no doubt that the protest movement will be strengthened by the approach of the Iranian presidential elections next summer,” he added.
Protests this week erupted when black market currency traders were shut down by Iranian authorities. The government is attempting to combat the massive devaluation of Iran’s currency, the Rial, as western sanctions aimed at stopping Iran from continuing work on its nuclear program, take a heavy toll on the country’s economy.