1. Why are the Iranians protesting?
There are many factors that have brought Iranians out to protest, many of these reasons are linked to the state of the economy, and mostly, years of political and social repression.
The endemic corruption, fraud, and mismanagement of the government have caused the people of Iran to grow tired of the leadership in place and its funding of terrorism abroad while their economy is suffering. It is estimated that almost half of the countries GDP goes to the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) for continued involvement in proxy wars in the Mideast. Iran is proud of their increased status as a result of fighting in Syria and Yemen but at what cost will this continue?
Due to the inflation in the region, the cost of living is so high most people need to work multiple jobs in order to keep their families afloat.
2. What are they asking for?
Iranians are asking for their government to listen to them. Iran needs a fundamental change in it's economy and government. Many believe this is an impossible task to accomplish without breaking the stranglehold of groups like the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) on the Iranian economy.
3. How has the government responded?
Due to travel restrictions and limitations on internet access in the region media networks have limited ability to report on the ongoing unrest. The government also limited the use of the internet and social media in order to disrupt its citizens ability to continue to organize protests as well as remove online footage that would incite more of its citizens to protest violently.
4. When did this begin?
The first protest began Thursday, December 28, 2017, in Mashhad, Iran's second largest city, and holy site. There, protesters were found shouting "leave Syria alone, think about us" Referring to Iran's military involvement in Syria.
5. What will happen in the coming weeks?
Although we have no way of knowing how this development will continue to unravel in the weeks and months to come, many experts expect the regime to grow increasingly repressive. The IRGC is no stranger to containing protests such as these and is prepared for much worse.
In Tehran alone 450 protesters have been arrested in the last 3 days. Although Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has said, "People are free to express their criticism and to protest," The head of Tehran Revolutionary Court warned on Tuesday that arrested protesters could potentially face death penalty cases when they come to trial. Some Iranians even fear the IRGC has allowed the protest to fester as a pretext for expanding their authority in the name of national security