Behind Iran's Protests: A Struggling Economy Despite Sanctions Relief

Cheryl Sanders
January 13, 2018

On Tuesday, he said the U.S. is "watching" as the "people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime".

"Oppressive regimes can not endure forever, and the day will come when the Iranian people will face a choice".

"In recent events, enemies of Iran have allied & used the various means they possess, including money, weapons, politics & intelligence services, to trouble the Islamic Republic", said a post in English on Khamenei's Twitter account.

On Sunday, Christian Pastor Saeed Abedini, a former prisoner of the Iranian regime for three years, told Newsmax that the demonstrators' chant of "Leave Syria alone, do something for us" was nearly precisely what Trump said in his United Nations speech on September 19.

Rallies in support of Iran's leaders, including Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have been held across the country to criticize the "seditious" character of anti-government protests and USA sanctions on Iran.

Iran's leaders appear to be divided about the reasons behind the anti-government protests roiling the country, who the demonstrators are and how to curtail the unrest - the most significant challenge to Iran's clerical leadership since 2009, when authorities resorted to a nationwide crackdown to crush the pro-democracy "green movement".

Many Iranians expected that their financial situation would improve after their country signed the 2015nuclear dealwith the USA and five other world powers.

The protests have been smaller - in the hundreds or, at most, a few thousand - but they have swiftly erupted in far more places compared with eight years ago. Looks like they will not take it any longer.

Iran has also blocked access to social media websites and the messaging app Telegram, which is used by millions of Iranians, in an attempt to stop communications and calls for protests.

Protesters in Mashhad and other cities have expressed anger over poor economic conditions in Iran, including a recent spike in prices, despite the 2015 nuclear accord that ended major global sanctions.

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein is also keeping a close eye on the anti-government protests.

The joint statement by four Special Rapporteurs - expert advisers to the United Nations who work on a voluntary basis - issued on Friday by the United Nations agency for human rights came eight days after anti-government protests broke out in Iran over corruption, unemployment and price rise, CNN reported.

The European Union said it was monitoring the situation and that it expected Iranians' rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression to be guaranteed.

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani accused the US, UK and Saudi Arabia of using hashtags and social media campaigns inside Iran to incite riots.

The protests began on Thursday in Mashhad over Iran's weak economy and a rise in food prices.

Monday marked the first night to see a fatality among Iran's security forces.

Other reports by iNewsToday