Protesters in the western Iranian city of Mehabad on November 9, 2022

Protesters in the western Iranian city of Mehabad on November 9, 2022

Iranians Know They Want Regime Change, And Secular Democracy

Saturday, 12/10/2022

Media in Iran are discussing how the current wave of protests are different from all previous antigovernment outbursts and why there is no end in sight.

The sweeping demand of the protesters for regime change and open disdain expressed for the Islamic Republic’s leaders, has emboldened even local commentators to express opinions that three months ago would have been a taboo in the government-controlled newspapers and websites.

What the media are hesitant to touch, is where the movement is heading mainly due to the invisible nature of its leadership.

The main question, as the latest report on Rouydad24 website in Tehran pointed out is "what is it that the new generation of protesters are hoping to achieve beyond what older protesters demanded in previous years? What is the outlook of this movement and in what ways it is different from other protests?"

One of the main characteristics of this round of protests is that Iran has entered an episode of continuous protests that has for the first time forced the Islamic Republic government to go on the defensive against the nation's anger.

It seems that women's latent dissatisfaction over their status as second grade citizens the government thinks they are, has turned them into a mighty force that has already achieved some irreversible successes. Women have shown they can stand up to the clerical regime, discard the hijab despite existing laws and demand much more. They have shattered the myth of an all-powerful untouchable regime.

Rouydad24 noted that a majority of the Iranian protesters are in their twenties and all they have known has been high inflation, devaluation of the Iranian currency, the fading away of a prospect for life including dreams to get married, buying a house and a car; the three symbols of success in Iran.

The bazaar in Shiraz on strike to support the protest. November 15, 2022

The Iranian uprising enjoys more international support by foreign governments and organizations than past protests did. Millions of Iranian expats in Europe, America and Australia are also passionately supporting the movement. At the same time, there is no indication that the regime has done anything to address widespread dissatisfaction, the website said. The government has tried to scare people of the danger of Iran's disintegration. Iranians do not believe in that, nor they have shown any separatist tendencies.

The regime has even accused striking shopkeepers in Esfahan, in central Iran of separatism. Witty Esfahanis joked that their city is hundreds of miles from any borders. There is no way for it to be separated from Iran unless they dig a hole and go to the other side of the planet! Many Iranians liked Omid Shokoohi’s tweet who wrote: "I have frequently travelled in and around Iran from border areas to the central desert. And I have not seen even one separatist. Separatism is excuse the government uses to suppress dissent."

The government's usual and probably favorite choice of a solution for any kind of protest or peaceful gathering is shooting at protesters. However, regardless of the violence, the protesters have not given up. They have remained in the streets for nearly three months now. This is one of the unique characteristics that makes this uprising different from all previous protests in Iran.

Some protesters understandably have a bit of a concern about the future. Nonetheless, they understand that as the movement's leadership is invisible for security reasons. In other words, the secrecy about the movement's leadership prevents it from being beheaded.

An opinion poll kept secret by the government has been disclosed by the Black Reward hackers. The poll's result show that at least 56 percent of Iranians believe that the protests will go on. They may not know exactly where the movement is headed. But they certainly know that first, they want to change this regime and second, they want to replace it with a secular democracy. In the meantime, there appears to be a consensus among protesters and Iranian as well as international observers that even so far, something essential has irreversibly changed in Iran.

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