The Iranian government shot down an airplane full of Iranian and international passengers and now the Iranian people, who have already protested and rioted in the streets multiple times this past year, are furious and demanding an explanation — not only for this incident but also for other fatalities caused by the Islamic regime in the past few months.
In the past year, there have been many conflicts between the Iranian people and their government. One of the biggest protests occurred in early November 2019, when the government raised fuel prices by 50%. Protests started in Tehran and quickly spread to 21 cities across the country. While the protests had a rather peaceful beginning, they soon turned into violent crowds rioting to overthrow the government.
Protesters began blocking roads and setting fire to banks and government stores. On November 18, Iranian media reported that three security force members had been stabbed to death by rioters in Tehran. The protests were getting out of hand and the government took immediate action by implementing a nationwide shut down of the Internet. According to Amnesty International during the six-day Internet blackout, protesters were being shot dead from rooftops, helicopters, and at close range with deadly firearms, and authorities have removed dead bodies from hospitals, all during the blackout with the intent to keep it all secret from the rest of the world.
After these protests, the country was suddenly brought together by conflict with the US. On January 3, Iranian major general Qasem Soleimani was killed by a US airstrike ordered by President Donald Trump. Qasem Soleimani was the second most powerful man in Iran and was considered a hero by many. After his death, Iranians mourned for days and attended large funerals across different cities.
Then, came disaster. On January 8th, Iran fired missiles at an American military base. Just a few hours later, a Ukranian passenger airplane with 176 passengers including 82 Iranians and 63 Canadians, was shot down by an Iranian air defence missile. Everyone on board was killed. Initially, the Iranian government tried to blame it on engine failure, but after further accusations, they stated that it was shot down by accident.
This incident sparked yet more protests by Iranian people. While the killing of Soleimani initially brought Iranians together in solidarity, the downing of the passenger plane ended that.
The head of a reformist political party, Ali Shakouri Rad, expressed on Twitter the widespread feeling of betrayal. “Covering up the mistake of downing the passenger jet with missiles was throwing acid at the image of the Islamic Republic,” he said.