For four days, thousands of anti-government protestors have taken to the streets in at least 25 different cities in Iran. Protesters confronting riot police with water cannons, tear gas, truncheons, & gunfire are chanting “death to Khamenei” & tearing down pictures of supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei & president Hassan Rouhani. Hundreds have been arrested & two protesters have been killed.
It’s not clear from media reports if the protests are spontaneous eruptions of anger or organized by beleaguered political groups. According to one Iranian commentator on social media, young workers most affected by exorbitant prices, unemployment & economic inequality are the majority of protesters. Women are also a large component of the protesters, including many who removed their headscarves to protest the theocracy’s dress code. Many are reportedly protesting Iran’s foreign policies but it’s hard to tell the character of the political demands. Some reports make the demands sound xenophobic but there are likely to be a majority who oppose Iran’s role in supporting the Assad regime if for no other reason than the impact of war on the Iranian economy.
Our fullest solidarity with the protesters.
The photo is a young woman taking off her mandatory headscarf at a protest in Revolution Square in Tehran.
(Photo tweeted by Maziar Bahari)