That’s a conservative estimate of how many Iranians have reportedly been murdered by the nation’s government forces since the middle of November.

That number includes 1,500 people who were protesting in the streets against the governing regime. They were reportedly shot by government forces positioned on rooftops.

Then there was the downing of the Ukrainian aircraft last week by, again, trigger-stupid government forces, killing 176 people, mostly Iranians, many of whom lived in Canada.

Iran first denied it had shot down the plane while it was firing missiles at U.S. bases in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of an Iranian general. But it was forced to fess up when Ukrainian investigators saw evidence in the plane’s wreckage of a hit by a surface-to-air missile. Iran might never have admitted it, otherwise.

On Saturday and Sunday, protesters in Iran took to the streets to denounce the country’s leadership, and government forces reportedly have been firing tear gas at them.

Is it only a matter of time before the government forces stop murdering their own people and, instead, overthrow the archaic leadership of that nation?

Has the airline disaster pushed Iran to the tipping point?

That might be the only real silver lining in the deaths of the 176 plane passengers last week.

But it has also turned world focus on Iran; I’m betting most people in the West were only vaguely aware of the recent civil unrest in that country, and perhaps not aware at all that Iran has been murdering its own citizens.

The disaster has also brought home another important message for Westerners: Most Iranians do not support the anti-West rhetoric of the country’s leadership and in the past few days have been very vocal about that. Protesters are saying the leadership has lied to them, and that those leaders are the real enemies of the Iranian people — not Israel and the United States.

Indeed, many of us in the West may also be seeing Iranians in a new light. The people as a whole do not hate us; only the leaders and their most fervent followers do. Again, as I mentioned in the preceding post, a minority has its fingers on the buttons of destruction and hate.

The average Iranian just wants a better life, to live in peace and harmony — just like we do in the West.

As Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a televised statement to the nation Saturday, many of the Iranians on board the doomed aircraft had fled Iran’s regime to make better lives for themselves in Canada. They were eager to give back to Canada through medical careers and the like.

Clearly, Iran’s archaic leadership is out of touch with its people and the modern era, and it finds itself at a major crossroads: reform or be ousted from power.

It will probably be the latter, with a lot of bloodshed in the interim.

According to Wikipedia, these are the goals of people calling for reforms in Iran:

Stay tuned . . .

— Jillian