Just hours after Iran launched a missile strike on U.S. bases in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a Ukraine Airlines passenger plane crashed during a flight from Tehran to Kiev. Of the 176 people on board, there were no survivors.
Tehran initially tried to weather the incident as an accident due to technical issues. However, when U.S. and Canadian intelligence showed evidence that the plane had been shot down by a ground-to-air missile, they could not maintain their alibi.
They then chose a military scapegoat by blaming the people in charge of the air defense system. The military personnel thought the plane was a missile and shot it down, they claimed.
Those who know the "limits" of the Iranian regime say there are other possibilities in the situation. However, Tehran's official statement alone shows what a big threat the region faces.
After all, an organization that cannot distinguish between a passenger plane and an enemy rocket is playing with uranium before the world.
This threat appears to have intimidated the Iranian people as well. The Iranians, who had put aside their criticism of the regime in the wake of the killing of Soleimani, poured on to the streets – so much so that dozens of people were killed in a stampede during demonstrations vowing revenge against the U.S.
However, after it was determined that the Ukrainian plane had been shot down, the public's consensus "against U.S. imperialism" has faded considerably. Across the country, those protesting the Tehran administration are also on the street. The news that protesters lost their lives in the demonstrations is alarming.
As a journalist following the developments with deep concern from Turkey, Iran's neighbor, I support the Iranian people's struggle for democracy. I hope they overcome these dark days before they suffer much more.
When I look at what they are going through today, I think of Fethullah Gülen, the terrorist who lives in the U.S.
If the fake imam Gülen had been successful in his attempted coup on July 15, 2016 with the troops affiliated with him, he would have come back to Turkey like Ruhollah Khomeini, who returned to Iran after the 1979 revolution. In fact, the "holy white villa," from which he would lead the revolution upon his return, had already begun to be built. Gülen would have then turned the secular republic into a model of a religious state, similar to the structure in Iran.
He and his followers failed. The Turkish people resisted Gülen's terrorists at the cost of 250 lives lost on the streets. They claimed secularism, democracy and their future. They did not allow Turkey to become like Iran.
Today, how long do you think the Trump administration, which hit the Iranian regime that Khomeini founded, will continue to protect the terrorist Gülen, who is trying to be "the Khomeini of Turkey," a U.S. ally?
I think that the "cost" of hosting the Gülenist terrorists, which dates back to the Obama-era, will be more disturbing for Donald Trump after the 2020 election.