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Top IDF intel officer: Protests a real challenge to Iran but regime will survive

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Iranians protest the death of Mahsa Amini in Tehran, October 27, 2022. (This photo was taken by an individual not employed by The Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran)
Iranians protest the death of Mahsa Amini in Tehran, October 27, 2022. (This photo was taken by an individual not employed by The Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran)

The head of the Military Intelligence research department says he believes the Iranian regime will survive ongoing protests that have been swept the country.

Speaking at a conference hosted by Gazit, a military think tank, Brig. Gen. Amit Saar says the protests sparked over the death of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran in September, are different from previous protests against the regime.

He says the protests have lasted longer than expected, now nearly three months, and have been exceptionally violent, especially by protestors against Iranian security forces.

“The 2009 protests were because of politics, the 2019 protests were over the economy, but in 2022 they are over the very essence of the regime,” Saar says.

“The protesters aren’t shouting ‘Change the hijab law,’ they are shouting ‘Down with the regime,”

“The oppressive Iranian regime will likely manage to survive these protests. It has built very very strong tools for dealing with such protests,” he says.

“But I think that even if these protests wane, the reasons [for them] will remain and the Iranian regime will have a problem for years to come,” Saar adds.

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