Home World News Despite Crackdown, Iran Protesters Still Challenging Regime for More than Four Months

Despite Crackdown, Iran Protesters Still Challenging Regime for More than Four Months

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Despite Crackdown, Iran Protesters Still Challenging Regime for More than Four Months

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Despite a slackening of road exercise within the face of a brutal crackdown, Iranian protesters are nonetheless difficult the Islamic theocratic regime 4 months into their motion, observers say.

There have been fewer day by day road protests nationwide since November because the authorities search to quell the protests with strategies together with capital punishment, which has already seen 4 protest-related executions.

But the anger unleashed by the loss of life in mid-September of Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested for violating the Islamic republic’s strict costume guidelines, has not subsided and at a time of financial disaster nonetheless poses a possible risk to the Iranian regime.

Meanwhile protests have taken on completely different types, notably together with strikes. Mass road actions proceed in some areas and there have been tentative indicators of division throughout the regime.

“With the variety of protests diminishing since mid-November 2022, it seems that a stalemate has set in, with neither the regime nor the protesters’ facet with the ability to overwhelm the opposite,” mentioned Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Iran knowledgeable with the American University of Beirut’s Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs.

“Despite the relative decline in the number of protests ever since, it is worth recalling that revolutionary processes usually entail phases of both relative calm and uproar.

“Now, with a dramatic loss of the value of the Iranian currency since the turn of year, economy-driven protests could be expected, which as past shows could quickly turn political,” he instructed AFP.

The enqelab.information website, which screens the extent of protest exercise, mentioned whereas the variety of road protests has decreased the variety of strikes and different acts of dissent, similar to writing slogans or damaging governmental banners, has elevated.

“The nationwide rebellion is alive, although the style via which persons are expressing their dissent has remodeled because of the authorities’ deadly crackdown throughout the fall,” it said in a statement to AFP.

‘Protests not over’

According to Norway-based NGO Iran Human Rights, at least 481 people have been killed in the crackdown and at least 109 people are facing execution in protest-related cases, in addition to the four already put to death.

The protests began as a movement against the obligatory hijab rule for women but rapidly became a challenge to the entire system, calling for an end to the Islamic republic created after the 1979 ousting of the shah.

“Protests have not stopped in the face of the violent crackdown,” mentioned Roya Boroumand, co-founder of the US-based Abdorrahman Boroumand Center rights group.

“They have actually subsided… We are additionally seeing circumstances of extrajudicial killings and, naturally, residents are extra cautious.”

But she said nonetheless actions were continuing including regular street protests in the vast but impoverished southeastern region of Sistan-Baluchistan, strikes by oil workers and protests marking death anniversaries of protesters.

One notable example was a protest this month outside the walls of Rajaishar prison in Karaj near Tehran when rumours emerged that inmates Mohammad Ghobadlou and Mohammad Boroghani were about to be hanged over the protests. Both men are still alive.

“These protests, whether they subside or not in the short term, are not over,” mentioned Boroumand.

“They have modified the narrative that the Islamic republic has imposed over a number of a long time relating to who Iranians are and what they need.”

In the face of the challenge there has been little sign the leadership under Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is ready to offer meaningful concessions and it could yet ratchet up the repression further.

‘Distrust among insiders’

Khamenei, in a widely commented move this month, named former Tehran police chief Ahmad Reza Radan to be commander of the national police force. Radan is a hardline figure seen as having played a key role in the suppression of 2009 protests over disputed elections.

Meanwhile, the crackdown on the protest movement has only increased Iran’s isolation from the West, with talks on reviving the 2015 deal on its nuclear programme in deep freeze.

Iran is also furious that the UN, at the instigation of Western countries, has launched a fact-finding mission into the crackdown.

Simultaneously, Iran has been increasingly running into the arms of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, similarly isolated by the West over its invasion of Ukraine. Kyiv and the West accuse Tehran of supplying Moscow with plentiful cheap drones to use in attacks on Ukrainian territory.

But some analysts detect the very first signs of fissures emerging over how to handle the protests within the regime, which despite all the bloodshed has yet to employ its full arsenal of repression.

In an extraordinary development many observers are still at a loss to fully explain, Iran this month executed former deputy defence minister Alireza Akbari, who had gained British nationality after leaving his post, on charges of spying for the UK.

Cornelius Adebahr, non-resident fellow at Carnegie Europe, said the “unexpected verdict” might level to a “energy battle” within the elite over how to deal with the protests.

Akbari was seen by analysts as close to Supreme National Security Council secretary Ali Shamkhani and other figures who have argued for some moves to address protesters’ grievances.

“Although no apparent cracks dividing the establishment could be observed four months into the protests, there are signs of fissures,” mentioned Fathollah-Nejad, describing the execution as “one other signal that mistrust has set in amongst regime insiders”.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 employees and is revealed from a syndicated information company feed)

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