Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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A throne on crater of a volcano: The mullahs reel between fire of protests and hell of sanctions

Tuesday 03/March/2020 - 03:14 PM
The Reference
Mervat Zakaria

 The protest phenomenon in Iran extends to before 1979, when the Shah’s regime and its authoritarian policies were based on suppressing rights and freedoms, tightening the security grip on clerics and the majority of oil profits going economically to foreign companies operating in Tehran at that time.


The protests continued in Tehran from that time through the demonstrations of Iranian students in 1999, the green revolution in 2009, until the protests in late December 2017 and the beginning of 2018 until the end of 2019.


It was repeated again at the beginning of January 2020, against the background of Iranian students' opposition to the regime's policies regarding the downing of the Revolutionary Guard missile unit of a Ukrainian passenger plane, which aroused the ire of many Iranian citizens, as well as the international condemnations that Tehran received following this incident.


The protest phenomenon became one of the most prominent features of political life inside Iran after the Islamic revolution of 1979; the protests renewed again with the end of 2017 and early 2018 against the background of economic decline, especially after the Iranian nuclear agreement was concluded in 2015.


The protests of November 2019 erupted after a decision by the Economic Coordination Council between the three authorities to raise the prices of fuel and fuel, which comes after the negative repercussions of Tehran's exit from the Iranian nuclear agreement, which led to the exit of tens of multinational companies from the Iranian market, and the end of many foreign investment projects.


The admission of the missile unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to their involvement in the accident of the downing of the Ukrainian passenger plane, which killed a large number of students of Iranian university students, led to a state of confusion and embarrassment within Iranian society, and accordingly, large numbers of Iranian students led protests against the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards in the capital, Tehran, and other cities.


As usual, the Iranian police pursued repressive policies in confronting the demonstrators, as many photos and videos appeared on social media sites to fire shots in the vicinity of the protests in Tehran and soldiers carrying guns, which would help to escalate the intensity of the demonstrations and continue even in the face of the Iranian regime.


The Iranian authorities have acknowledged against the backdrop of international pressures, that they are conducting a campaign of arrests of the people who caused this incident, which is the traditional method that Tehran has always followed in such situations without searching for the defect within its decision-making bodies.


As a result of the foregoing, there was a growing intensity of anger by the protesters in the face of the Iranian authorities, especially the clerics, which was evident in the need for slogans against them and others threatening to restore Iran, as well as the revolution and insubordination until the matter reached the point of demanding the departure of the head of the guiding regime against Khamenei.


This indicates the necessity of rethinking the Iranian regime in the sources of its legitimacy, especially its reliance on the idea of ​​exclusivity of the presence of the cleric at the top of the decision-making structure.