Fear of Another Green Movement Influences Perceptions of Ukraine
“Changing the name of the square in Kiev, capital of Ukraine, from ‘independence’ to ‘euro’ is a clear sign that this movement, supported by the United States and Europe, is pushing Ukraine away from independence toward dependency,” said Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, the chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces.
Last week, Kayhan newspaper, which is managed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative, Hossein Shariatmadari, published an editorial in which the crisis in Ukraine was described as the conflict between the Kremlin and the “enemy” of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The editorial’s author, Sadollah Zarei, a theoretician who works for the Iran Revolutionary Guard, described the enemy as “the West,” but did not elaborate.
Inside Iran, however, some say that the recent events in Ukraine represent to the hard-liners more than just a disagreement between Russia and the West, and that it has reopened an old psychological wound.
“For the government, Ukraine is the symbol of the velvet revolution,” said a Green Movement activist to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “A lot of people believe that the post-election demonstrations in Iran in 2009 were influenced by the Orange Revolution of 2005 in Ukraine.”
The activist said: “Certain groups in the establishment are worried that with the fall of the corrupt government in Ukraine, members of the Iranian social movement might think that if [President Hassan] Rouhani’s administration fails to push for a major improvements, they, too, can once again return to the streets.”