Protestors in Iran declare, “Not Gaza, not Lebanon, my life for Iran”
Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Protests in Iran are continuing in several cities with the main ire being Iran’s foreign policy that is squandering resources despite high unemployment and poverty in this nation – along with the desire to be free from clerical rule. It remains to be seen if central government forces will crush the ongoing protests – or if they will peter out naturally. Therefore, with many parts of the Middle East being extremely volatile, regional nations are watching events closely.
According to the BBC, at least two individuals have been shot in Dorud and unconfirmed reports are now claiming that both have perished. If so, then more blood may flow in the following days based on ongoing demonstrations and actions taken by the government of Iran.
The BBC reports, “In the town of Abhar in northern Iran, demonstrators have set fire to large banners bearing the picture of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.”
Hence, it is clear that many demonstrators are disillusioned with clerical rule. This is equally being witnessed in Arak because the Basij militia headquarters was set on fire.
In Mashhad, the pivotal city where demonstrations began, people chanted, “Not Gaza, not Lebanon, my life for Iran.”
The above chant is aimed at Iran’s role in squandering money and focusing on geopolitical intrigues, while ordinary Iranians are struggling. Indeed, with 12.4% of people being unemployed and serious internal issues including high drug abuse, then not surprisingly some Iranians are questioning why the government is focused so heavily on foreign policy adventures. After all, is the Shia faith welcomed openly in Gaza – and why the obsession with Israel when the Shia are being butchered by Sunni Islamists in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen?
Reuters reports, “…there is considerable discontent over high unemployment, inflation and alleged graft. Some of the new protests have turned political over issues including Iran’s costly involvement in regional conflicts such as those in Syria and Iraq.”
It remains to be seen if demonstrations will grow and begin in other parts of Iran. However, the government of Iran should take note of major discontent because it takes extremely brave souls to demonstrate openly in Iran. Therefore, it is abundantly clear that many Iranians feel disenfranchised and disillusioned by the internal economic and political situation.
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