Tuesday, June 26, 2018

What makes the new wave of Iran protests over failing economy important?




What makes the new wave of Iran protests over failing economy important?



Iran, June 26, 2018 - As the value of Iran’s rial further dropped against the dollar on Monday, the people of Tehran, who are fed up with 40 years of tyranny, corruption and economic mismanagement by the Iranian regime, took to the streets to protest. The protest started in Tehran’s bazaar, where merchants will be hit the worst by the continued plunge of the national currency, who closed their shops and staged a protest and marched toward the parliament.

Tehran Grand Bazaar protest continue, June 26

But the protests quickly spread to other parts of Tehran and their nature shifted from dissatisfaction over Iran’s failing economy to protests directed toward the Iranian regime in its entirety. Tehran’s economic protest quickly turned into political confrontation between Iranian people of all walks of life and the regime. Clashes ensued and the regime’s security forces cracked down on protesters.
Despite the regime’s heavy security presence in the capital, Tehran’s protests continued on Tuesday and spread to other cities, including Kermanshah in Iran’s western reaches.

Skirmishes between protesters and authorities

Several points make this most recent iteration of the ongoing Iran protests significant. First is their fast-paced nature. As we saw in the Kazerun protests that took place last month, Iranian protesters no longer fear security forces and do not back down against the regime’s show of force.
Second is the inclusiveness of the protests. Although merchants ignited the spark, the middle and lower classes of the society, who are all fed up with Iran’s ailing economy and the regime’s corruption, joined the protests, and the wave expanded to other parts of Tehran and other cities. By Monday night, protests had also erupted in Mashhad, Tabriz, Kermanshah and Arak.

Protesters chanting DEATH TO THE DICTATOR

Also, the Iranian protesters quickly showed that beyond economic woes, their ultimate demand is the overthrow of the regime. Their slogans included “Death to dictator,” “Death to Rouhani,” and “Death to Khamenei,” targeting all of the so-called rivaling factions in the regime.
Protesters have also made it clear that only the regime is responsible for the broken state of Iran’s economy. Their slogans also targeted the regime’s interventions in the countries of the region, including Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine. “Not Gaza, not Lebanon, my life for Iran,” the protesters chanted, a direct criticism of the regime’s foreign excursions, which is being paid for directly from the country’s wealth and out of the pockets of the people.
The regime’s reaction to the protests is also noteworthy. While state-run media usually refrain from even mentioning protests, but this time around, they were quick to cover the Tehran bazaar protests and tried to downplay their nature by saying they only had economic demands and didn’t have any political nature.

Finally, this new wave of protest is significant because it’s taking place less than a week before the Free Iran Gathering, the annual Iranian opposition rally that takes place in Paris. The NCRI and MEK, the largest and most organized Iranian opposition coalition, have been calling for regime change in Iran for nearly four decades, and their cause has garnered support from politicians, lawmakers, activists and different political and human rights groups across the world. This year, the Free Iran Gathering will be focused on supporting the uprising of the Iranian people and presenting the viable alternative to the tyrannical and corrupt rule of the mullahs in Iran.
As the latest protests in Tehran and other cities of Iran have shown, the Iranian people are eager for change.


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