What makes the current popular protests in Iran distinctive is the insistence of their social components to continue at any price, the gradual expansion of their geographical scope, their elite content, their wide ethnic and class coverage, and most of all, they have become the only way for the Iranian people to emerge from their crises and escalating problems and the only option to lift the country out of drowning in chaos and instability. This road was also the main reason that led to the convergence of the objectives of the Iranian citizen with the ambitions of a good number of political, military and security prominent figures in the country, who became convinced of the need to get rid of mullahs’ regime before it is too late and the country’s falling into the abyss.

The leaders of the Iranian regime were caught by surprise following the recent popular protests which targeted the highest authorities in the country, i.e. the supreme leader Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani and all the leaders of the regime and the Revolutionary Guard. The reason was their prior certainty that the security forces’ grip would be capable to silence and suppress any protests and uproot any revolution. However, it turns out that the Revolutionary Guard and all its organs have failed indeed in containing the demonstrations and preventing the rebellion against the post and the personality of the supreme leader, which has deeply alarmed the Iranian regime, because breaking the fear barrier in Iran would definitely lead to the fall of the regime.

Some officials in Iran have tried to sell the idea that these moves are only a passing wave of political electoral goals made by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s current to win Hassan Rouhani in the upcoming elections. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard also rushed to claim that these demonstrations are only gatherings aimed at demanding Rouhani’s government to improve the living conditions and that some foreign parties tried to exploit that to hit the security and stability of the country. As for the security and intellectual apparatus of the regime, they also worked tirelessly to suppress these protests and extinguish their luster by all means and methods. Nonetheless, these attempts have all failed miserably, and these protests are still growing and growing and are turning into a time bomb.

In contrast to what the Iranian authorities are claiming, these protests are much deeper than they appear on the surface, especially as they were called for in a sudden and spontaneous way by the end of last year without being associated with any precise political event. This refutes the story that it is Ahmadinejad’s trend that has stir these demonstrations. Moreover, the call to participate in these demonstrations has not been carried out by any specific party or current, although it is supported by many political and military figures who are working behind the scene to get rid of the regime of the wilayat al-faqih. Rather, the demonstrators were completely formed by the people. Therefore, we see that these protests have included various political and intellectual trends, from the left, the right, the center and the nonpartisan, which proves that they started spontaneously to express their anger and rejection of the regime’s policies. This was demonstrated by their slogans and chants directed against the supreme leader, the regime, the Revolutionary Guard and the interventions in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and elsewhere.

In addition, the central issue that brought the Iranian demonstrators together is their need to express an extreme anger against the deterioration of living condition in all its various forms, while the regime spends billions on its interventions and schemes in the countries of the region and all to no avail. All this means that this wave of anger is not an expression of a particular policy to any particular party or for passing or temporary crisis, rather, it is the expression of a crisis between the people on one hand and the existing political and economic system on the other, and this is not a micro crisis which will pass like its predecessors, but a comprehensive one that is, along with the public anger, growing and exacerbating.

There is now a lot of evidence indicating that this protest movement will continue inside Iran during the next stage, and that with its high recurrence, it will turn into a great revolution over time that will bring down the Iranian regime. The political, economic and social situation in Iran is on the brink of abyss, and the living conditions of the Iranian citizens are worsening day by day, with despair and general frustration of any improvement in the circumstances in light of the continuation of the regime’s policies internally and externally. In the wake of these wrong policies, interference in many regional countries, rampant corruption, and the re-imposition of US sanctions on Iran, the Iranian economy in all its sectors has stagnated and is about to collapse and all financial remedies will not work that the government is trying to promote in order to extinguish the long-standing popular anger.

Now, all Iranian political currents’ leaderships, all of which are affiliated with the Iranian supreme leader, are working to address the crisis that is striking the country but to no avail. The reason is that these political trends, in their various fundamentalist, moderate and reformist tendencies, represent directly or indirectly the monopolistic class of power and influence in the country, hence, any reform measures taken by them to face the economic crisis have all failed and will also fail in the future.

Day after day, there are increasing signs of a revolution in Iran, the latest of which was revealed by Mostaghel Newspaper of the decline of the status of the political and social elite, a dangerous indicator of the widening gap between citizens and officials inside Iran. Politicians, clerics, and security and military leaders have all lost their prestige and social status, and the Iranian people now look at them with extreme hatred and regard them as Iran’s greatest enemy. The reason for this is the deterioration of the internal situation and lack of concern for the dignity and life of the Iranian citizen, while billions are wasted on schemes, conspiracies, interventions and support for extremist terrorist groups, while the Iranian interior bleeds from the poor conditions.

Al Mezmaah Studies & Research Centre

December 24 , 2018