The Facts

  • Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has agreed to "pardon or commute" the sentences of tens of thousands of prisoners as part of an annual amnesty to celebrate the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, state media reported on Sunday.

  • While this pardon will apply to anti-government demonstrators who asked for forgiveness, Iran's official judiciary news agency stated that it will exclude anyone charged with violent crimes, arson, or who had any contact with foreign intelligence services.


The Spin

Pro-Iran narrative

This clemency granted to celebrate the 44th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution is a welcomed move to restore national unity and cohesion, saving Iranian youth who were deceived by the enemy's conspiracy to take part in the recent wave of unrest in the country. This is welcomed by Iranians across the country as a countermeasure to foreign plots.

Anti-Iran narrative

This move is merely an Iranian regime propaganda move. It will not impact the vast majority of political prisoners as the eligibility criteria for the amnesty has excluded most demonstrators. As such, it is unlikely that this imitation of clemency will appease protesters who have demanded Khamenei to be ousted. Tens of thousands of Iranians still linger in state jails as political prisoners.


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