Unarmed Iranians Stage Protest on Plane

Unarmed Iranians Stage Protest on Plane (AP)

A group of unarmed Iranians staged a protest aboard a Lufthansa jet at the Brussels airport Thursday, refusing to leave the plane and calling for the return of the monarchy in Iran, officials said. The plane landed at Brussels International airport at 3 p.m. (9 a.m. EST) on a flight from Frankfurt, and the protesters stayed behind after most of the 59 passengers got off.

“This is not a hijacking,” said police spokeswoman Astrid Kaisen. “They are sitting on the plane and they don’t want to come off,” Kaisen said, adding police could not yet confirm the nationalities of the protesters. She said police negotiators were talking with them. “No force has been necessary and no extra security measures were taken,” she said.

Christina Zia, who said her father called her on his cell phone from the plane, said they were supporters of the late shah and wanted to draw attention to Iran’s problems. “There are no weapons. This is nothing dangerous. They only want the world to see the problems, to see that Iran is not what the world sees today,” said Zia, who spoke to The Associated Press by telephone from Germany.

I can hardly think of a more effective way to dispel myths about crazy Iranians.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. RE Gardner says:

    I have been to Iranian Freedom Rallies on the west side of the US Capitol (note I did not say protests). And where were the non-Iranian supporters of freedom? Unfortunately, absent. The Iranians were grateful for the few non-Iranians that showed up (as opposed to the crowds that have showed up to support the Palestinian Authority). For more details on Iran for those opposed to the mullahocracy, see http://www.activistchat.com/ Lots of news out of Iran that you won’t find elsewhere.

    I would say that the Iranian opposition is divided into two camps, those wanting a return of the monarchy (Middle East style), and those that want a more western democracy.

  2. Kappiy says:

    It is interesting to note the connections between Northern Virginia residident, his majesty, Reza Pahlavi (the shah’s son)and key neoconservative figures.

    Folks like Michael Leeden at the American Enterprise Institute and Iran-Contra figure James Woolsey are close with Pahlavi. He is slowly becoming the Chalabi to be brought out after any impending US destabilization of Iran.

  3. RD says:

    Thanks for the link!

  4. McGehee says:

    Given how things went for Chalabi, I wouldn’t worry too much about Prince Reza.

  5. I’m not sure I agree with the goal of a return to monarchy, but as with the Cedar Rebellion I find it absolutely wonderful every time I read about any kind of peaceful protest in the Middle East, and I applaud them for their method.

    Yes, this is obnxious – especially to Lufthansa. But nobody’s getting hurt over it, and that’s a tremendous step forward.