JERUSALEM, Israel – The latest round of civilian protests against the Iranian government sparked a violent response the past few days in the southern city of Khorramsharhr. This most recent example of public anger toward the country's leaders continues to feed the idea of a possible regime change in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Iranian police fired on protesters demonstrating in the streets over salty, muddy drinking water during a severe drought in the country.
While Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif downplayed this incident, it follows last week's protests at Tehran's Grand Bazaar outside Iran's parliament and in dozens more locations across the country.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani cited those demonstrations at the annual meeting of Iran's main opposition group in Paris Saturday.
Rudy Guiliani, Photo, AP archive
"We are now, I believe, very realistic in being able to see an end of the regime in Iran. We can see it," Giuliani said.
"They continue to grow and grow with numbers that now threaten to topple the regime. When that happens, then freedom is right around the corner," he said.
Giuliani credited President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Iranian nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions for putting enormous pressure on Iran's economy.
He noted today's protests were coordinated and that even more economic pressure could soon hit an Iranian economy already in freefall.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu weighed in on the situation.
"In complete contrast to what the international experts said, not only has the re-imposition of sanctions not united the Iranian public around the regime, the complete opposite is happening. Many in Iran understand that the regime of the ayatollahs is wasting precious resources on foreign military subversion instead of investing in civilian needs at home," he said.
Netanyahu has used social media to speak directly to the Iranian people during the unrest.
Israeli Deputy Minister of Diplomacy Michael Oren told CBN News Israel is trying to resurrect an historic friendship.
MK Michael Oren, Photo, CBN News
"The Iranian and Jewish people have an historic alliance. We were never at war with these people," Oren explained. "Their government regime has been at war with us. And up to 1979, up to the Iranian revolution, we had excellent relations with the Iranian people. We want to go back to those relations – before 1979 – and restore and to correct what we see as an aberration in our historic friendship."
Despite the growing opposition to the Iranian regime, Oren is cautious about expecting "imminent change."
"For many years I've heard about imminent change in Iran. For the last 40 years it hasn't happened. Let's be cautious about it and frankly, let's hope," he said.
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