For decades Iranians have risen up, only to be put down

FILE - In this June 15, 2009 file photo, hundreds of thousands of supporters of leading opposition presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, who claims there was voting fraud in Friday's election, turn out to protest the result of the election at a mass rally in Azadi (Freedom) square in Tehran, Iran. The demonstrations that erupted after Iran admitted to accidentally shooting down a Ukrainian jetliner early Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, during a tense standoff with the United States, are the latest of several waves of protest going back to the 1979 Islamic Revolution — all of which have been violently suppressed. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)

Iranians have risen up in several waves of protests since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, all of which have been crushed by security forces loyal to the theocratic government. Iran’s admission that it accidentally shot down a passenger plane last week, killing scores of its own citizens, has infuriated many and sparked scattered street protests. But it remains to be seen whether the plane tragedy will generate large, sustained demonstrations. Even if it does, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has decades of experience in crushing dissent. It put down a student revolt in 1999 and quashed the so-called Green Movement that emerged a decade later, even after it brought millions to the streets.