I’m often asked: what happened to the Green Movement? Why don’t Iranians rebel against the brutal dictatorship that has ruled their country since 1979? The answer is that Iranians don’t want a revolution. They had one 40 years ago and many — if not most — of them regard it as a historical mistake. Most Iranians I know want a peaceful nonviolent change of government. But as it did in early 2018, the regime has suppressed recent peaceful protests with violence, blaming the chaos on the protesters. Iran and Iranians are at a crossroads: how can people confront a brutal regime that only understands the language of violence? With that question in mind, IranWire has reviewed the most important events of the last few days.
As protests spread across Iran, our citizen journalists in different cities have provided IranWire and other publications with hundreds of hours of footage of protests. These videos give a better understanding of how the government announcement that it was raising the price of gas resulted in mass protests across the country. For many Iranians, who have suffered months of economic deprivation and seen their demands for change ignored, this was the last straw. There were clashes between protesters and police, and dozens of people have been killed or injured. In an effort to stop protests from spreading and from people sharing news and information, the government blocked access to the internet for several hours, leading to further chaos.
In the current climate, it’s hard to know what the government’s next step will be. President Rouhani, once a symbol of hope for a stronger economy and engagement with the wider world, has lost the confidence of his people. For millions of Iranians, the Supreme Leader and the Revolutionary Guards have become symbols of rampant corruption and a decaying, broken society. It remains to be seen whether, in the coming hours and days, authorities will take further steps to silence people and suppress their anger and frustration by carrying out mass arrests, ordering police violence and censoring social media and the news.