Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader and his loyalists have repeatedly claimed in public that anti-regime protests have ended, but in private they say otherwise.

Nonetheless, documents revealed by hackers who tapped into the database of the IRGGC-linked Fars news agency indicate that Ali Khamenei secretly told his inner circle and military commanders that an end to the protest is not in sight.

Meanwhile, according to the leaked audio file of a recent insiders’ meeting at the Basij Militia HQ focusing on the protests, a top IRGC commander has acknowledged that the protests continue to go ahead with full force.

Khabar Online, a moderate conservative news website in Tehran, in a report Wednesday probed into the continuity of the nationwide uprising in Iran and asked whether the Iranian government and Parliament (Majles) have a true understanding of the nature of the protests that have continued for some 75 days so far. The report also tried to shed light on why the use of force is the government's solution for all problems.

To put the bottom-line upfront, the report concluded that one of the main reasons for continuing protests is in fact the government and the parliament's lack of understanding of the situation. Even insider analysts over-emphasize the role of the current economic crisis as a driving force fueling public outrage. The article said that any good analysis should review the course of events in the past 25 years.

Former Iranian presidents Mohammad Khatami (L) and Hassan Rouhani (R)

The reformist government that came to power in 1997 was unable to institute any political and economic reforms because hardliners obstructed all routes and created many crises for the government. In mid-2000s the government was handed over to conservatives who ruled out political reforms altogether. The nuclear program pursued by hardliners led to US and international sanctions against Iran.

Moderate Hassan Rouhani's victory in 2013 was aimed at eliminating grievances about the economic situation by bringing about a breakthrough in the nuclear issue, but hardliners played the same obstructive role with the resulting economic crisis fuelling protests in 2017-2019.

US-based sociologist Asef Bayat told Etemad newspaper recently that "The current protests have brought together the middle and lower classes as well as ethnic groups such as Kurds, Azaris, and Baluchis with the slogan of 'Woman, Life, Freedom'. This has given a new characteristic to the protests while at the same time concerns about women and their dignity are at the center of the movement." Bayat added, "It looks like the people are determined to take back their lost youth, lost life and lost joys and are looking for a decent, ordinary life denied by the government which has no idea about the powerful quest for normal life."

Bayat attached high importance to how Iranian women felt humiliated by the government, its compulsory hijab rule and its morality police as a factor in the protests. She said it was a similar humiliation felt also by men that brought them to the streets in protest.

Another Iranian sociologist, Yousef Abazari highlighted the emergence of a new generation that cannot stand the dictatorship of existing rulers.

The scholars said that because of all kinds of restrictions, and general mismanagement, society has left behind all peaceful stages and has entered a phase characterized by anger while the government's only solution is suppressing this anger. This, they said, can only deepen and strengthen the sulking between the people and the government

G4 Protest Special - Morning (2023)
News (44\')
Economics Daily

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