Iran General NewsIran’s Protests Won’t Be Silenced for Long

Iran’s Protests Won’t Be Silenced for Long


Iran Focus

London, 19 Jan – The current protests in Iran may have been suppressed by the Regime, but that won’t last.

The problems that caused the protests remain and it won’t be long before the people take to the streets again, particularly the Iranian youth who are especially angry about the lack of freedom their people experience.

Ahmad Majidyar, a South Asia and Middle East expert for the Washington-based Middle East Institute, said: “Young Iranians hold higher expectations, have greater access to information and exposure to the outside world, and aspire to more freedoms and opportunities.”

Almost 70% of Iranians were not yet born when the Regime took power in 1979, and Majidyar explains that they are “frustrated with economic and political stagnation” and see the Regime as incapable of meeting their needs.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani weighed in on this, as the protests were being forcibly crushed by the state security forces, with the usual platitudes about listening to the youth and allowing criticism of the Regime. However, it is hard to believe that a man who allowed the executions of juveniles, the banning of English language lessons for primary school children, and the rejection of students based on religion, really cares about young people.

Some have argued that the Regime is stocked with older politicians who cannot understand the young, but it’s not their age that the Iranian youth are objecting too. It’s corruption, human rights abuses, regional warfare, and a failing economy that makes young people take to the streets.

The protests began over a cost of living increase that few could afford to meet but soon grew into a widespread anti-regime protest by people of all ages, occupations, religions, and social classes.

They wanted increased social and political freedoms, they wanted Rouhani to resign, they wanted a fair economy, but instead they were attacked by the Regime. At least 50 were gunned down in the street, 8,000 imprisoned and facing the death penalty, and at least five have died under torture in prison.

If the Iranian Regime fails to address these issues (and there is no indication that they will), then Majidyar believes anti-regime sentiment will again reach its boiling point.

He said: “The underlying anger and frustration that triggered the protests in the first place will remain, likely grow even stronger, and resurface in different forms in the future.”

While Scott Lucas, an Iran specialist at Birmingham University in Britain and editor of the EA World View website, said: “As we saw in the recent protests, that dissatisfaction could escalate into a questioning of the legitimacy of Iranian institutions — and even the supreme leader is not exempt from this.”

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