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Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

I published today on Israel's Channel 10 News the details of a classified foreign ministry report about the Iran protests which was sent to the offices of Prime Minister Netanyahu and to cabinet ministers.

Big picture: The Israeli Foreign Ministry report says the Iranian regime was surprised by the mass protest and is now trying to contain it through preventive arrests and crackdown on social media — while trying to avoid violent response against protesters.

According to the report:

The Iran protests started over economic issues but very fast "took a political and violent turn which included harsh anti-regime criticism over government spending on Syria, Lebanon and Yemen."The analysts wrote: "For now the #IranProtests are not a threat for the regime's survival but they weaken it, damage its legitimacy & if continue it can threaten its stability."The report also said: "The radicalization of the #IranProtests messages & the fact people took to the streets shows in our understanding that the barrier of fear for the Iranian citizen started breaking."Many Iranians fear the Iran protests might lead to chaos like in other countries in the region (Syria), according to the report.President Hassan Rouhani's public image took a hit, the report says.But many Iranians still support him because they see him as the least of all possible evils.Bottom line: The Iran protests emphasize the deep changes in Iranian society and the fact that part of it is distancing itself from the values of the Islamic revolution and demand more openness.

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COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.