The Evolution Of Arab Popular Opinion Toward Iran

(AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
(AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

The Middle East’s conflicts and autocracies—hostile to independent researchers and pollsters—make it one of the most challenging regions of the world to accurately assess public opinion. The competing popular demonstrations in the region both before and after the killing of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani illustrates the confusion.

Months prior to Soleimani’s killing, mass protests inside Iran and against Iranian-allied governments in Lebanon and Iraq—including the burning of Iranian consulates in Najaf and Karbala—seemingly reflected the Iranian regime’s dwindling domestic and regional support. In the days after Soleimani’s death, however, Tehran showed it can mobilize millions of people at home and hundreds of thousands of Arab sympathizers to continue to project regional power.
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