What we see on YouTube may not be what the Iranians are seeing on TV. In fact, we know it isn't. The Atlantic's Graeme Wood was on the ground at the Quds day rally a month ago. His impression:
For this observer, anyway, the Quds Day rally established exactly what the Islamic Republic wanted it to show, which is that despite the reports of unrest and discontent, there are still vast numbers of Iranians who love their government and hate Israel, and who are as sheltered from their anti-clerical countrymen as their government wants them to be. The opposition, of course, rallied elsewhere, farther north (more on that later). And optimists will point out, with some justification, that totalitarian governments have never had much trouble staging parades, even in their last days. But if the protesters' goal was to force their displeasure into the view of all Iranians, they failed. If I hadn't received the Tweets, I wouldn't have known there was any counter-protest at all.
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