Iranians chanted “Death to Palestine” in protests over the last few days, triggering a range of reactions and analyses by experts on the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of the unusual event.
Erfan Fard, a counter-terrorism expert focused on Iran, tweeted on May 1, “Iranian people in Sirjan chanting: Death to Palestine! It shows the absurd ideology of the theocratic regime & terrorist Shia mullahs in Tehran which supports the #Terrorists against Israel! Iranian people are supporting #Peace & have no problem with #Israel or the #USA at all.”
Fard added in a second tweet, “Personally, I have no information regarding the exact date and place of the protest in the video.”
The video sparked reactions from other Iran experts. Iranian-American journalist Karmel Melamed said, “This is an old protest video… but still accurately portrays the sentiments of many people in Iran today.”
Israeli analyst Meir Javedanfar tweeted, “Iranians chanting ‘Death to Palestine,’ in #Iran. Why? It’s one way to: 1-criticize the regime’s expensive and unpopular anti- #Israel policies, which have isolated Iran and its economy. 2-criticize the ruling regime, many of whose members are vocal #Palestine supporters.”
Ellie Cohanim, the first Iranian-born official to work for the US State Department, tweeted, “Iranians chanting ‘Death to Palestine’ – because they are sick & tired of the Regime stealing the peoples’ resources to fund terror proxies #Hamas, #Hezbollah & Palestinian Islamic Jihad via @EQfard.”
Sheina Vojoudi, an Iranian dissident who fled the Islamic Republic due to repression, told The Jerusalem Post that the Iranian regime forces many people to participate in the annual al-Quds protest calling for Israel’s destruction.
“I believe it’s very important to know that the people you see in the pictures are not there because of al-Quds Day; they’re just there because many of them have no other choice. Believe me, there will be no al-Quds demonstration in Iran if these people were not under pressure,” she said.