A senior Iranian political analyst warned that the recent violent unrests in Iraq and Lebanon are being misused by certain foreign states to turn the people’s peaceful protests for restoring their legal rights into a ground to attain their ominous goals.
“The main purpose of protests in Iraq, Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria and even Sudan was protesting at the financial and administrative corruption,” Seyed Hadi Seyed Afqahi told FNA on Saturday.
He added that the protest rallies in the regional states have two dimensions; one is the protests of average citizens and ordinary people and unions for their living difficulties and expenses; on the other side of the protests the foreign hands can be seen and they want to misuse the rallies of people to their own benefit.
“Unfortunately, we see this ugly phenomenon in Lebanon and Iraq too. People in Lebanon have held peaceful protests and the government has heard the people’s voice but a series of norm-breaking images were displayed and slogans were shouted in the protests that turned them into political rallies,” Seyed Afqahi said.
Thousands of protesters have gathered in the streets of Lebanon since mid October, blaming the faltering economy on widespread corruption and abuse of privileges among politicians. The rallies were peaceful at first but suspiciously turned violent.
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri stated that the cabinet has approved a raft of economic reforms, including halving ministers’ wages, and agreed on the 2020 budget in a bid to tackle fiscal crisis and put an end to the nationwide demonstrations that have entered the fifth day.
Meantime, in Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Seyed Ali Sistani warned against the infiltration of agents with malevolent intentions into public protests in the Arab country, calling upon demonstrators and security forces to keep anti-occupation rallies peaceful.
“Don’t let those with vicious intentions to infiltrate among you and attack security forces,” the official representative of Ayatollah Sistani in Iraq Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai said on Friday, conveying a message of the senior cleric.
He added that public protest is a right enshrined in the Constitution, and warned that, however, protests should not be used as a pretext for vandalizing public properties or injuring security forces.
The protests that started early in this month subsided after the public get engaged in holding the annual massive march of Arbaeen, but restored on Friday after religious rituals of the second month of the Islamic calendar were over.
In the first round of public protests 3 weeks ago, analyses revealed that 79% of hashtags about protests in Iraq on Twitter originated from Saudi Arabia and only 6% were from Iraq, in a stark contrast with claims that the demonstrations were popular and spontaneous.