In a silly and desperate statement, the Iranian regime’s foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian claimed that nothing special is going on in Iran, despite the country being in an uproar following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in police custody. Amini had been detained for not adhering to the regime’s mandatory hijab rules.
In a recent publication, the NPR media outlet stated, “Amir-Abdollahian acknowledged the tragedy of Amini’s death, but said such incidents happen around the world and downplayed the significance of the nationwide protests.”
In an interview, Amir-Abdollahian said, “I’m assuring them that there is not a big deal going on in Iran. There is not going to be regime change in Iran. Don’t play to the emotions of the Iranian people.”
The question is, what is the reality of the situation and what is the regime facing?
Angry demonstrations are ongoing in dozens of cities across Iran in the most extensive public protests since the 2019 uprising. Iranians have come to the streets to condemn the murder of Mahsa Amini, but they are being faced with violent attacks by the regime’s security forces.
Despite the Internet restrictions in Iran, the conflict between the angry citizens and the security forces has not subsided. People have set police cars on fire in Tehran and chanted slogans against the Iranian regime in dozens of other cities from Qom, Mashhad, and Tabriz, to the south of the country.
In response to these protests, the Iranian regime’s President Ebrahim Raisi has pledged to deal with these demonstrations decisively, and the Ministry of Interior drew the line that it will stand up to the protesters.
Widespread frustrations from the devastated economy to the alienation between Iran’s regime and many of its younger citizens have kept the protests active and ongoing.
This time, the main characters on the ground are not the poor people of the January 2018 protests, nor the middle-class people who mourned because of the Ukrainian plane shot down by the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).
These unexpected new protesters are Iranian youths, dubbed ‘generation Z’, and they have imposed a serious challenge on the regime. They have decided to take to the streets and revolt, using this as their main tool to implement their policies and demands.
They have completely shocked the regime with their fearlessness and bravery, and caused concern as they do not care about, or believe in, any of the regime’s factions.
The truth is that the ecosystem of generation Z is the media, especially social media. Through this, the youths are well educated, and they have a much brighter perception of freedom and new thoughts. With their minds opened to the wider world, they refuse to believe the regime’s media, whose articles are routinely filled up with the lies and propaganda of the regime’s mullahs, who are stuck in the Middle Ages.
The pain of livelihood issues has not affected only their fathers; They are also mourning their own livelihood conditions too. The future for these youngsters has become unclear to them, and in their view, a home, a good profession, and marriage are difficult prospects to achieve.
They have been influenced by cultural industries. They see no reason to be limited and restricted from things in their lives and have therefore decided to prevent the regime from disconnecting them from the outer world.
The youths of Iran want to be like their peers in other nations to be free. The fact is that with the help of international media, they have learned how they can live differently from what the regime has offered them and their generations before. They are the children of the 21st century, a century of the explosion of information and digital relations.
The truth is that the regime has no examples of life for the new generation to follow. Instead, they are just trying to force them to accept their old and medieval patterns, but this generation is not accepting them. They demand a regime change. They are filled up with the regime’s theocratic rules. Now cries about the overthrow of the regime can be heard all over the country.
The regime is facing a serious transformation, which will definitely lead to its demise. This is because, unlike older generations of Iranians, generation Z has decided to reach its goals by facing the regime on the streets. At this point, further repression of society, at the hands of the regime, will only have negative effects and radicalize the situation.