The Corner

Politics & Policy

Some Thoughts on the Iran protests

There has been a second day of violent protests in Iran that have spread to at least 20 cities. The protests reportedly began over economic issues when Iranian officials raised food prices and the doubling of the price of eggs. Iran has huge economic problems with youth unemployment at 40 percent. There also is discontent over huge government spending on the military and the war in Syria. Over 60 percent of Iran’s population of 80 million is under 30 years old. Despite censorship and the mullah’s propaganda, Iranian youths yearn for the freedom and culture of the West.

There also is significant and growing opposition to the country’s theocratic system, especially by young people. Incredibly, protesters reportedly have been chanting “We don’t want an Islamic Republic” and “Death to Rouhani.”

It is no accident that the Iranian government announced today that it will no longer arrest women who go outside without wearing head scarves.

So far these protests seem much smaller and not as serious as the massive Green Revolution protests that broke out in Iran after the fraudulent 2009 presidential election, which returned Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power. However, Amir Taheri, a well-known Iran expert, said in the below tweet that Iranian security reportedly is reluctant to fire on protesters:

Most Iran experts believe there is huge discontent in Iran that the regime uses brutal oppression to keep under the surface. This particular set of protests might die out, but they are part of what Iran expert Michael Ledeen has long predicted: an irreversible trend moving toward the day when the Iranian people topples a regime it despises.

Fred Fleitz, president of the Center for Security Policy, served in 2018 as deputy assistant to the president and to the chief of staff of the National Security Council. He previously held national-security jobs with the CIA, the DIA, the Department of State, and the House Intelligence Committee staff. Twitter: @fredfleitz.

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