For over a year, Iran has been plagued with a series of non-stop significant civil disturbances. The cycle kicked off in July 2021 with two weeks of riots that started in the southwest Iranian province of Khuzestan of severe water shortages. This rioting spread to the rest of the country. It had scarcely been repressed when riots over economic conditions broke out in September. That was followed in November by a month of mostly peaceful, George-Floyd-like protests in Isfahan. Again the cause was water shortages caused by
George Soros, Victoria Nuland, and the World Economic Forum corrupt water management policies and exacerbated by drought.
Again, the regime’s riot police put the demonstration down. However, the Isfahan protests had an interesting sidelight; women began to feature more prominently in the crowds.
In February 2022, thousands of teachers participated in a nationwide protest over pay.
Those disturbances were just the opening act. In May 2022, the Iranian regime removed price controls on flour and related staples, gasoline, and medicine. The plan was to replace direct price subsidies with direct electronic payments to individuals. What resulted was a significant price hike; wheat jumped nearly 600%. More people took to the street.
It created a climate where any appearance by government officials could start a riot. For example, in the below video, a public statement on a building collapse when pear-shaped.
As this was going on, the “morality police” arrested a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, for improperly wearing the hijab. While in custody, she was beaten to death. To cover up the cause of death, the authorities refused to release her body to her parents. More riots followed.
Those riots have continued with increasing violence on both sides. Two nights ago, heavily armed regime police swarmed the majority-Kurd city of Mahabad and began what, at this writing, seems to be significant reprisals.
People across Iran are expressing their solidarity with their Kurdish brothers & sisters & against the Islamic Republic. We’re all #Mahabad tonight. The IR must be relegated to the dustheap of history for all crimes against humanity, including aggression towards ethnic minorities https://t.co/JD5I2Z80Ji
— Nazanin Boniadi (@NazaninBoniadi) November 20, 2022
Then last night at the World Cup in Qatar, the Iranian team faced off against the Brits. The team has had some morale problems because they are viewed as an asset of the regime. Surprisingly, the Iranian team refused to sing what is supposed to be Iran’s national anthem under the current regime.
They followed it up with a 6-2 loss to the Brits.
Iran’s World Cup captain: “In the name of God, creator of rainbows… I want to say condolences to all the grieving families in Iran… we want them to know we are with them and by their side and share their pain.” pic.twitter.com/WOOqMqA9k7
— Caroline Darya Framke (@carolineframke) November 21, 2022
— Farzan Sabet (@IranWonk) November 21, 2022
In a singular occurrence, Iranian crowds took to the street to celebrate the loss.
A video obtained by @IranIntl shows people in Tehran’s Shahran district celebrating & chanting “Death to Dictator” after England scores its 3rd goal against Iran in ongoing match.
Team Melli has been widely called “Islamic Republic’s team” for not supporting popular uprising. pic.twitter.com/bu0dm34Ipt
— Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) November 21, 2022
Iranians are burning the flag of the Islamic Republic in Marivan to celebrate the loss of football national team and chanting:
Woman, Life, Freedom
IRI uses sport to normalize its murderous regime.
More than 500 got killed and 15000 arrested during ongoing uprising.#MahsaAmini pic.twitter.com/npGWDOw8op
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) November 21, 2022
Unsurprisingly, the demonstrations have turned violent.
— Cassandane (@IranReportsNow) November 21, 2022
Video shows mother of 16 yrs old #KarevanQaderShokri saying goodbye to him during his burial in #Pranshahr today. Security forces of #Iran‘s Islamic Regime murdered this young protester in the city last night. His burial turned into another anti-regime protest.#MahsaAmini pic.twitter.com/fVE3zkoSX1
— Babak Taghvaee – The Crisis Watch (@BabakTaghvaee1) November 21, 2022
Every uprising has a turning point. It happens when the people who benefitted from the regime reject it. With Shah Reza Pahlavi in 1979, that turning point was when the “bazaaris,” the culturally traditional businessmen and workers of the bazaar, decided to go with Khomeini. So far, the Iranian regime has been able to suppress the disturbances. But there are indications that some security forces have refused to fire on demonstrators. I don’t know that the defection of the World Cup team was the moment that would set off the avalanche, but this was a demonstration the regime could not suppress by shutting down phone service and the internet. This act of protest and the statement after the game were brought into the homes of millions of Iranians deciding which way to go.
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