“My generation did the same for Khomeini,” the mother wrote in her post, calling it “brainwashing.”

“This is a propaganda exercise on all fronts,” Mahsa Alimardani, a researcher in the use of new communication technology in Iranian politics, told Quartz.

She noted that the narrative that Soleimani was “martyred at the hands of American terrorists” was dominating much of the conversations in Persian on Telegram, a messaging app. Alimardani said that while opposition sympathizers alleged that the government was paying citizens to participate in the commemoration of Soleimani and the protests against the United States, that message has been far less visible.

Much as been written about the Trump administration’s longterm strategy with Iran, or lack thereof. But Trump’s policies on Iran, including the shredding of the 2015 Iran deal, have emboldened the country’s hardliners, sidelined its moderates, and now damaged its opposition. It’s hard to see how any of those developments helps the United States.

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