A think tank close to Iran's security council has concluded that protests over the years have become more serious and more frequent as grievances went unanswered.
The research conducted by the National Security Monitor magazine for its September-October 2022 issue, says the current uprising is pluralist, has major objectives to change the bigger picture in Iran, is cyberspace-based, and does not seem to be backed by any institution.
The magazine is believed to be close to the Islamic Republic's Supreme National Security Council.
The research further found that collective reactions to events relating to the protests spread quickly although there seems to be no formal organization and leadership for the movement.
Other findings of the research include the fact that the uprising aims to bring about fundamental changes in Iran's political establishment, is backed by various layers of socio-political groups while also enjoying wholehearted support from the Iranian opposition abroad.
The government policy of suppressing protests by force and then failing to address the underlying problems has led to a worsening situation after each round of unrest and today, it might have become too late to come to peace with the disgruntled masses.
The study also found that although previously major protests occurred almost once in every decade [like the protests by the student movement in 1999 and the post-election unrest in 2009],during the past five or six years the interval between various protests have become shorter and they have occurred every one or two years. Soon, major protests may take place in Iran once in every two to three months, the study predicted.
Protesters in the central city of Arak torch a motorcycle used by security forces. Oct. 29, 2022
The conclusions corroborate the attestations of individual social scientists and political activists who have generally attributed the protest in Iran to promises that have not been met for a long time and demands that have been ignored by several governments during the past 40 years.
Meanwhile the study also observed that the driving force behind the current movement are youngsters born after the second half of the 1990s. This part of the findings also corroborate with what Iranian sociologists and political activists have said or written during the past two months.
The main problem of the new generation appears to be lack of social freedoms within an Islamic system and general hopelessness about the future.
As this study and several Iranian sociologists have observed, the disillusioned new generation of Iranians is fed up with senseless and inefficient bureaucracy and at the same time does not believe in the outdated and meaningless ideology the Islamic Republic has been propagating during the past four decades.
Generally, according to this research, the current movement in Iran is marked by a generation gap, fluctuating at times between activism and mutiny, not being mainly about economic demands, changing mood between anger and hope, using opportunities provided by events, and a horizontal steering structure [lack of formal leadership].
Meanwhile, according to the study the way the Iranian government has been handling the protests have not changed during the past four decade. It is common knowledge that the government's first and only solution to any crisis like the current uprising is handling it violently. At times, such as during the protests against rising fuel prices in 2019, Iranian government forces have killed hundreds to silence uprisings. But this way of handling crises, coupled with failure to address systemic problems is only a temporary solution and protests flare up as soon as another event triggers a new round of protests. What triggered the current wave of protests in Iran was the murder of a young woman in mid-September while she was in morality police custody.