Anti-Regime Protests Continuing and Spreading

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ISICRC Staff

 

While most media coverage on Iran has focused on the escalating tensions between the Khomeiniist regime and the United States, inside the country, the regime continues to be rocked by near-constant protests against it. Iranian political analysts are saying that the regime’s bellicose posturing of late is a direct reaction to its increasing shakiness. Below are highlights from some of the largest demonstrations of this past week.

May 13th: Students at Tehran University erupted in protest against the mandatory hijab all women are forced to wear, shouting “students may die, but we will never accept subjugation!”  “Hardliners, Reformists, Game Over!” and “The right to choose is our inviolable right!” The regime has been more actively enforcing the Shari’a dress code during the current Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and students had noticed a heavier IRGC and Basij militia presence at the university over recent weeks. Protestors also demanded the release of those arrested at May Day protests earlier this month, including journalist Marzieh Amiri.  Their official list of demands were:

  1. Abolition of the mandatory hijab and free choice in clothing
  2. Abolition of laws discriminating against women, and an end to gender segregation
  3. Separation of religion from the university system
  4. Immediate withdrawal of all police and IRGC forces from campus
  5. Unconditional freedom of speech and assembly

Security forces quickly attacked and suppressed the demonstration.

Students also protested at Persian Gulf University in Bushehr.

May 14th: Students at Kashan University began protesting, both in solidarity with Tehran University’s protestors, and in complaint against the bad quality of food served at the university.

May 15th: Investors in the failed Badr’e Tous financial services company, who lost all of their savings, protested today in Mashhad outside the provincial governor’s office. Badr’e Tous was part of the Caspian financial conglomerate, owned by the IRGC. The slogans chanted included: “Those hands behind the curtain do whatever they want with our money,” “We will stand for our rights, even if we have to die,” “They are using Islam as a cover to rob and steal people’s money,” “The media’s silence is defending the thieves,” and “We will continue to rally until our money is returned.” Hundreds of banks, credit unions, and investment brokerage companies, all owned by either the IRGC or regime officials personally, have gone bankrupt over the past few years. A new term, “deposit loser,” has been coined to refer to the hundreds of thousands of Iranians who have lost their life’s’ earnings to corruption.

Other victims of the Caspian corporation protested today in Tehran.

A video went viral today on social media of protestors trying to stop security forces from seizing a man’s automobile and motorcycles.

May 16th: Students at Kashan University continued their protests in solidarity with Tehran University students.

Protests broke out in several cities, including Tehran, Hamedan, Fouladshahr, Arak, Shiraz and Ourmieh, where people chanted “Death to the Dictator!” In Maragheh, protestors engaged in violent clashes with IRGC personnel. 

The Tehran demonstration began after a football (soccer) match in Azadi (formerly Aryamehr) Stadium when the crowd of spectators began impromptu chants in support of Reza Shah the Great, the founder of modern Iran. The Fouladshahr protest also began at a football match.

Homeowners in Chābahār protested against the municipality’s plan to demolish their houses, and confronted IRGC forces sent in to quash the demonstration.

May 18th: Mass demonstrations against the rising prices occurred today in the city of Qods.

 

May 19th: Students at Tehran University again came out to the continue protesting today.

Also protesting in Tehran today were buyers of Citroen cars who had placed their orders over a year ago but still had not received their vehicles.

May 20th: Mohsen Hashemi, head of the Tehran city council said today that “The people’s dissatisfaction in the current situation is the greatest threat to the system, and is more dangerous than foreign threats.”

In an attempt to stem the tide of protest, the regime has a created a new anti-demonstration special force of the IRGC, called the Razavioun, which is being mostly staffed by Iraqi Shi’a militia fighters who were brought into Iran just over a month ago.

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