The huge rally of diaspora Iranians in the German capital Berlin Saturday has angered the government in Tehran which tried to belittle the opposition gathering.
In an article on Sunday, Iran Daily, a government mouthpiece, dismissed the 100,000 number of protesters cited by independent media, claiming that the crowd was so small it could not even fill the main venue in Berlin.
This comes as videos of the gathering showed a countless number of people not only around the main square but also in the adjoining streets.
German police said over 80,000 took part in the anti-regime protest and many international TV channels called it the largest demonstration of Iranians in history.
The author of Iran daily’s piece also claimed that “terrorists and [non-Iranian] Europeans” had received money to participate in this gathering, without presenting any evidence.
According to the report, “the extensive planning and large expenses for setting up an anti-Iranian demonstration in Berlin turned into a complete failure.”
Some activists commented that since all pro-government rallies in Iran are organized by substantial expenditures to bus people in and give them food that Tehran officials assume a protest in the West also needs a lot of money.
Meanwhile, Nour News, which is close to the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council said if the claims by the Persian-speaking media based abroad are true, “they barely could comprise two to four percent of the Iranians living in Europe.”
Referring to it as a “fiasco”, it argued that “most of the rally participants were homosexuals, MEK members, separatists, monarchists and anarchists.”
“It is better for the West to focus on its own political, economic and security problems rather than creating sedition in other countries, so that their people do not suffer from inflation, food scarcity and gas shortage,” added Nour News.
This comes as experts have predicted a 50 percent inflation for Iran in 2023 and tens of millions have fallen into poverty.
While it is estimated that a family of three needs $600 a month to survive, the minimum wage stands at around $200 according to Labor representatives.
Based on a recent report by Salam-e- No website about 66 million of Iran’s 84-million population are living under the poverty line.
Terrified by the big turnout in Berlin, Javan daily, which is affiliated with the Revolutionary Guard, warned Germany of consequences for allowing people to hold a massive demonstration in Berlin against the Islamic Republic.
Afkarnews, another website that tried to devalue the Berlin demonstration said that “the organizers used people of different nationalities and homeless people who even did not know where Iran is geographically located.”