Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to the UN General Assembly placed fear into the hearts of Iranians, a Muslim woman from Tehran told Israel’s Channel 2 News on Friday.
The woman, Shahanaz, agreed to be interviewed to the Israeli channel despite the risks involved. She was first interviewed two months ago and was interviewed again on Friday, two days after scuffles broke out in Tehran as citizens protested the country’s failing economy.
“The economic situation has worsened [over the last two months],” she said, adding, “The prices have gone up. The prices of dairy products, gold and the dollar rate have gone up considerably and this made our lives even more difficult. Fruits have become very expensive, and people only buy essential goods, other than the rich people among us of course. We, the middle class, cannot buy many things. Meat, poultry and dairy products are the most difficult to obtain, because their cost has increased significantly within ten days.”
Asked about the demonstration on Wednesday in Tehran's largest bazaar, Shahanaz said, “I suddenly saw regime forces coming out of all sides towards the demonstrators in the bazaar. There were large crowds because that day that the dollar jumped suddenly from 2400 to 4200. There were many regime forces, even more at night, in the afternoon they were all armed and they arrested a lot of people. I saw them beat people. This time the demonstrators were mainly merchants who protested the economic situation, because with the situation of the dollar now, everyone will go bankrupt. I fear the planes will not be able to take off from Iran soon because of the difficult economic situation in the country.
“I wanted to show you the pictures I took of the prices of fruits and vegetables and other products,” she added. “I wanted to show the people who live on the street corners, or a wall full of ads for sales of human kidneys. Photographs of people who cannot finish the day. These are things I see every day, and every day it increases. The middle class is quickly getting closer to the poverty line.”
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman predicted this week that a Tahrir-style revolution could take place in Iran and called on the West to help the Iranian people bring down their regime. Asked about the possibility of this happening, Shahanz said, “I think we have no specific leader, the people here are not so correlated. At this point, I think only we can help ourselves - no one can help us, because first we must know what we want. Any outside assistance could only harm us.”
Addressing Netanyahu’s UN speech, she said, “It was a speech full of charisma. I heard of his red lines and it scared the people in Iran a bit. The authorities here may say that the things that were said are not serious, but the people take it very seriously. I read online that the red line is a message for Obama from Israel.”
Shahanaz emphasized, “The message of the people of Iran to the Israeli people is that we have no war with you, not over matters of religion or over any other. It is time we put our religious differences and personal beliefs aside and look at each other as human beings.”
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)