There have been plenty of times when outside observers believed that a real revolution was underway in Iran. The Green Movement of 2009 was the last such uprising only to fizzle out after a lack of support by Obama. With Trump openly supporting the protestors over the last few days, these protests feel different. Western media has reported that the widespread protests over economic disparity have essentially morphed into an entire palette of anger thrusted against the theocratic regime in Tehran.
The regime has responded with full force and an attempt to block the internet.
Raman Ghavni has been reporting on the ground using his Twitter. The latest tweet shows protestors doing the unthinkable and attempting to storm Revolutionary Guard bases.
#Update104–#Breaking_News in #Iran.
Security forces attacked protesters in south and North west of the country.People protecting themselves and in some cities people are trying to take over IRGC bases.
In #ShahinDej IRGC has killed 3 and wounded 11.#IranProtests pic.twitter.com/XtRuwE8jye
— Raman Ghavami (@Raman_Ghavami) January 1, 2018
As far as the size of the protests, the following infograph shows a growing movement:
Infographic: How the #IranProtests are spreading across the country
— Farshid Ghavasiyeh (@FGhavasiyeh) December 31, 2017
Ironically the regime, which used sanctions as a way of deferring responsibility for their citizens’ economic plight has no such shield now that there are no real sanctions. Whether or not the current protests sweeping the country will overturn one of the world’s most despotic regimes is not clear.
What is obvious is that these protests are not isolated incidents nor are they small in nature. While the Ayatollahs insist that they are foreign an funded and driven by Western agents, they have grown too large for anyone to believe that explanation.
In the next few days and weeks it will be critical for a leader or group of leaders to emerge in order for the protests to turn into a far wider revolution.