Mohsen Mandegari, a seasoned Iranian journalist has warned top officials in Iran that the country's youth driving the protests “will not tolerate humiliation."

He added that "There is only a brief window of opportunity for the government to control the ongoing uprising, and If the government refuses to listen to them it will face an uncertain and disappointing future."

In his interview with the reformist daily Mostaghel [Independent], Mandegari, like many other Iranian pundits, reminded the government that "Even if the current wave of protests in Iran recedes temporarily, it will flare up again at another time like a fire under the ashes."

Explaining the structure of uprising, Mandegari said: "This is a movement which is born and spread in a web of social networks. Unlike previous uprisings and revolutions, it has a horizontal structure which reduces the need to a strong leadership."

He said that it would be simplistic to think that this movement is about hijab. The story of Mahsa Amini, the young woman who died in the custody of Iran's notorious morality police was simply a trigger for the movement, and not its cause. "This movement is the outcome of an accumulated anger caused by poverty, as well as organized discrimination and humiliation. The number of Iranians living under the poverty line has redoubled during the past three years so that more than 70 percent of Iranians are currently living under the poverty line," Mandegari said.

A young woman facing the special riot forces in Rasht, northern Iran on Sept. 20, 2022

He added that the gap between the people and state officials has never been wider. The people feel that the officials see them as second grade citizens who are constantly ignored. Meanwhile, recent political developments such as the 2020 Majles election and 2021 Presidential election led people to believe that it is no longer possible to bring about any change in Iran through ballot boxes. This led to a deep disappointment.

In another development, Ahmad Bokharaei, the head of the Iranian Sociological Society told Rouydad24 new website that protesters are not coming into the streets just to reject government’s policy of forced hijab. There is always a web of issues that drives Iran’s protest movements.

The sociologist, cautious in how he framed his argument, seemed to be referring to both economic dissatisfaction as well as to the people’s frustration with lack of social freedoms. Bokharaei also attributed the current protests to the government's inefficacy in various areas. The combination of economic crisis, corruption, mismanagement and draconian laws together have exhausted people’s patience.

Bokharaei added that "Those who reduce the uprising to the issue of hijab, have political interest in saying so. When you look at the people in the streets of the affluent Valiasr Avenue in Tehran or low-income Iranians living in Eslam Shahr or Shahryar you will notice that as you move toward the margins of the big city you will find out that the economic reason for revolt is more prominent."

However, Bokharaei probably deliberately ignored violations of human rights by the Iranian government as one of the causes of the ongoing uprising. Another reason, as pointed out by some media outlets such as Aftab News, is that while Iranian officials for years praised the youth and school children of the 1970s for taking part in the 1979 revolution in Iran, they now hypocritically look down at youngsters and say school children should not take to the streets in protest as they are too young to understand what is good and what is bad for society.

G4 Protest Special - Evening (12\')
24 with Fardad
IITV News (44) - DC

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