Iranian people’s message to the Islamic Regime: “Enough is enough! Death to the Dictator”
By Editors of The Free Iran Herald
Now bringing you daily updates on the events unfolding in Iran
Tuesday marked the fifth day of continuous mass protests in almost every large city within Iran.
This is not the first time that Iran has seen waves of nationwide anti-regime demonstrations, 1999, 2003, and 2009 are just a few examples of prior uprisings. What is happening now, however, which is actually a continuation of the simmering unrest that commenced with the protests of December, 2017, and never was completely suppressed — When seen in the economic and political contexts of the straits the regime has found itself in, is leading observers to question whether the Khomeiniist dictatorship is on the brink of collapse.
The Setting and The Trigger
The initial spark bringing Iranians out into the streets on Friday was the regime’s announcement that gasoline prices would be raised. In Iran, the price of gas has been kept artificially low for a long time via state subsidies. However, as the regime is running short on cash due to the US sanctions blocking their oil exports, it announced, suddenly, that it would be raising gasoline prices by 50%, to 49 cents a gallon for the first 15 gallons used per month, and then 98 cents for each additional gallon consumed. While these prices may seem low by international standards, it must be recalled that Iran is a very low-income country – between half to 80% of Iranians live below the international poverty line – so every additional cent is of concern to a people who are already suffering from malnourishment due to rising food prices as a result of hyperinflation.
The examples of neighboring Iraq and Lebanon, where spontaneous mass movements have erupted against the Islamic regime’s domination of those countries, have also inspired the Iranian people despite the regime’s attempts to prevent news of the protests there from being broadcast inside Iran.
Thus, almost immediately upon the announcement of the gasoline price increase on Friday morning, November 15th, crowds began assembling to demonstrate against it in multiple cities at the same time across the entire country. 18 big cities saw massive demonstrations, while smaller were reported in at least 50 smaller municipalities. The biggest scenes of protest were in Ahvaz, Abadan, Mashad, Shiraz, Sirjan, Esfahan, Bandar Abbas, Khorramshahr, Karaj and, surprisingly, the Islamic clergy’s stronghold of Qom.
The slogans chanted by the demonstrators went beyond the daily issue of gasoline and attacked the Islamic regime itself, its wasting money on foreign aggression and terrorism instead of serving the Iranian people. In various places, the crowds called for the return of the Pahlavi monarchy, the government overthrown by the clergy in 1979.