Thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets once again in a show of force against Iran’s corrupt regime. The protests taking place in Tehran saw the traders of the Grand Bazaar shut their business doors in what is considered as perhaps one of the largest anti-government demonstrations in recent years.
For the past decade there has been ongoing unrest for the people of Iran under the rule of the repressive government of president Rohani and its clerical regime.
The plummeting value of the rial has generated uneasiness induced by fear of returning US sanctions, corruption and a vulnerable economy. Iran’s currency has hit a record low hammering down to 90,000.00 rial against 1.00 US dollar on the unofficial foreign exchange market.
Unemployment rate in Iran increased to 12.10 percent in the first quarter of 2018. Iran’s youth are amongst the worst affected at 28.40 percent, more than half of the population of 82,011,735 are under 30. Over the past decade, Iranians have become 15 percent poorer due to high unemployment rates and rising inflation.
Iran has been accused of misusing its citizens resources, sponsoring terrorist organizations across the world especially in the Arab world by funding radical groups such as the Houthis in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon and by continuing its wasteful ambition of expanding its nuclear program through state-funding, whilst the people of Iran struggle. The protesters are expressing their concerns towards their livelihood, their basic rights and freedom, which rather than be addressed by the government has been fueled by conflict and turmoil leading to crackdowns against the population.
On the streets of Tehran, you can hear the chants and feel the anger of the people, “Our enemy is right here, they lie when they say it’s America”, is what one bystander caught on video and uploaded onto Twitter. Various protesters are following suit and uploading such videos onto social media platforms, hoping this time around to be heard.
The United States urged the UN Security Council to sanction Iran for “malign influence” in the Middle East, at a meeting on implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran. President Donald Trump announced this year that he will withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, which is now in danger of collapse. The United States will severe economic struggle as it is expected to curb on trading of the country’s gold, steel and coal, cars, as well as freeze Iran’s opportunity to buy the dollar.
“When confronted with a country that continually violates this council’s resolutions, it is imperative that we pursue meaningful consequences,” said Jonathan Cohen, the US deputy ambassador to the United Nations.
“That is why we urge members of this Council to join us in the imposition of sanctions that target Iran’s malign behavior in the region,” he stressed.
Iran has been accused of supplying arms to Yemen’s Houthi rebels who have targeted Saudi Arabia on a number of occasions by launching ballistic missiles towards populated areas. The latest was last Sunday when two missiles were fired towards the capital Riyadh from the Iranian backed Houtis targeting sensitive locations such as the Defence Ministry. The UN officials found evidence from the recovered debris of five missiles fired at Saudi Arabia by Houthi’s rebels, were in fact manufactured in Iran. The debris from the missiles fired since 2017 share key design features with a known type of missile” manufactured by Iran.
It is clear that the provocations of Tehran’s regime are no longer tolerable both in the targeted Arab world and even among Western governments. But today, however, the people begun again to fight its regime’s injustice. Tehran should take this as an opportunity to prove its credibility reform by responding to its people. They haven’t don’t that so far, but will the next few says prove the opposite?
* Researcher and journalist from Saudi Arabia.