The Iranian people have been protesting for over a year, focusing on a variety of issues related to how the Iranian regime is running their country. These protests have been local, but there are also examples of larger national protests. Every industry in Iran has participated, as work conditions and wages remain critical issues.
The economy is also been a focus of Iranian protests. The regime’s corruption and mismanagement continue to drive Iranians to speak out for change. The social and economic have become tied together for the Iranian people. The nationwide protests began on December 28, 2017, and highlighted one main demand, which is the end of the current ruling system within Iran.
Chants can be heard at various protests that include “Death to Dictator” and “Khamenei shame on you; let go of your rule.”
JCPOA Not the Cure
Many of these protests began over economic issues, primarily as it relates to the rising costs of goods, low wages, and high unemployment. There is evidence that the Iranian middle class has virtually disappeared, despite the fact that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) meant that sanctions were lifted for three years. Instead of the promised improvement to the economy, the regime used its funds to expand its military efforts throughout the region.
Now that sanctions are back in place, the regime’s economic promises have become false ones. There is clearly a need for change. The economic conditions have become a crisis, as the rial continues to lose value and inflation rises. Social repressive measures have also increased, as the regime attempts to stop the protests and demonstrations.
Members of one strike received threats of a death sentence if they continued in their efforts to create change.
Protests Throughout 2018 Demonstrate Unrest
During 2018, there were multiple sections of Iranian society that protested against the systematic government corruption and growing poverty. What started as economic protests quickly turned political, with the focus on the regime and its Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.
From truck drivers to educators and even groups within the energy sector, there is evidence that Iranians are tired of having their social customs and culture suppressed by the regime and its leadership. Despite the threats of physical violence, arrest, and potential torture, it is evident that the Iranian people are ready for change.
Calls for regime change are being supported by international organizations and leaders. The latest round of sanctions could be the final straw that pushes the regime out and allows the Iranian people to set up a new government, one based on principles of freedom and human rights.