The government of Iran signaled that they would prefer to de-escalate tensions with the United States following 10 days of military skirmishes during which Tehran shot down a civilian aircraft.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told the visiting emir of Qatar that de-escalation is the "only solution" to the regional crisis sparked by the US killing of Iran's top general, Qasem Soleimani, according to AFP citing the emirate's ruler.
"This visit comes at a critical time in the region," said Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, adding "We agreed... that the only solution to these crises is de-escalation from everyone and dialogue."
Rouhani, meanwhile, said "Given the importance of security of the region... we've decided to have more consultations and cooperation for the security of the entire region."
Also on Sunday, Hossein Salami, commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, said the missiles it fired last Wednesday on Iraqi bases hosting US troops were not aimed at killing American personnel.
"Our aim was not really to kill enemy soldiers. That was not important," he told parliament.
The US said no American personnel were harmed in the attacks.
Across the border in Iraq, the military said rockets slammed on Sunday into Al-Balad, an Iraqi airbase where US forces have been stationed, wounding two Iraqi officers and two airmen. -AFP
While millions of Iranians turned out for the funeral of Solemani, Iran's call to de-escalate comes as waves of anti-government protesters have taken to the streets to demand that Iran's leaders, including Ayatollah Khamenei, step down over their initially concealing the truth about the airline downing.
After several days of denial, Rouhani on Saturday admitted that "human error" was to blame after a Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 was shot down two minutes after taking off from Tehran, killing all 176 people on board. The Guards' aerospace commander General Amirali Hajizadeh has accepted full responsibility, however demonstrators quickly filled the streets during a Saturday evening memorial at Tehran's Amir Kabir University and shouted "death to liars!"
Tehran Amir Kabir university students chanting anti-government slogans after officials accepted they accidentally shot-down a Ukrainian flight with a missile. (Video from my source in Tehran) #IranPlaneCrash ✈️ pic.twitter.com/1cz56DW6Kz— Negar Mortazavi (@NegarMortazavi) January 11, 2020
On Sunday, President Trump tweeted: "To the leaders of Iran - DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS. Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching," adding "Turn your internet back on and let reporters roam free! Stop the killing of your great Iranian people!"
To the leaders of Iran - DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS. Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching. More importantly, the USA is watching. Turn your internet back on and let reporters roam free! Stop the killing of your great Iranian people!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2020
The protests, meanwhile, have gotten bloody;
Seems like Iran sees the writing on the wall and is trying to head off another colorful revolution courtesy of Regime Change, Inc.