Protests in Iran reach new heights

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Last week, protests erupted in Iran after a hike on fuel prices, prompting the regime to shut off the internet nationwide. Demonstrators chanted “Death to Khamenei” and “We do not want the Islamic Republic.”

From January 2018 to October 2019, there have been over 4,200 protests, in almost every province in Iran, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) reports.

The Iranian people are unhappy with the dire economy and political corruption.  Iranian president Rouhani admitted that the country’s finances are in a dire state particularly because of the country’s inability to export its oil, due to U.S. sanctions.

Demonstrations have become increasingly violent, and could pose a challenge to the regime in Tehran. Protesters have attacked state-owned banks, heavily disrupted traffic, destroyed regime posters that read “Down with the USA” and pictures of the Ayatollah.

Over one hundred people have been killed, over 1,000 people arrested and could face capital punishment, according to Amnesty International.  The regime claims the death toll is 12.

The regime has responded with force carried out by paramilitary troops – reminiscent of those it instituted in Iraq and Lebanon. There have been reports of snipers positioned on rooftops and even helicopters, firing live rounds aimed at civilians. Iranian media reported that 3 members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) and 2 police officers were killed during the recent wave of protests.

The “maximum pressure” policy of the Trump Administration and anti-regime protests in Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon have backed the regime into a corner. This may be the beginning of the fall of the Mullahs.

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