Iran demonstrators vow to continue protests : NPR
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ISTANBUL – The protests that have gripped Iran since September may have eased to some extent in recent days, but protesters approached by NPR insist the protests will not die or disappeared despite the government’s brutal repression. Protesters have been trying to contact the NPR despite Tehran’s efforts to restrict access to the internet and other means of communication.
But analysts say Iran’s hardline government that submits to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei can only stay in power by continuing to arrest — and sometimes kill — protesters. Security forces arrested thousands of people and shot people in the streets. The compliance court imposed the death penalty. Two executions have been carried out, with fears of more.
Although authorities released popular Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti from prison this week after she was released on bail, she still faces charges stemming from comments she made in support of One protester was executed.
Protests, often led by women, broke out in northwestern Iran following the death of a young Kurdish woman, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini – known to family and friends as the Kurdish name Jina. – in the custody of the Iranian government. known as the “moral police.” Protests quickly spread across the country, and quickly turned from protesting the mandatory Muslim headscarf, the headscarf, to calling for an end to the cleric-led regime in Iran.
The government responded with a series of harsh crackdowns. Iranian authorities claimed around 200 people were killed, but the Norway-based Iranian Human Rights group reported in late December that The death toll has reached at least 476.
Signs of a slowing rally?
Recently, some observers have suggested that the scale and frequency of protests are decreasing. Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, founder and CEO of London-based company Organize Exchange & Bazaar think tank, posted one graph to Twitter seems to show such a drop. Compared to the mass protests that erupted in 2009 and became known as the “Green Movement”, Batmanghelidj questioned why “such a protest movement fueled by justifiable anger did not generate big and long rally – so far.”
Javad, a 55-year-old protester from north-central Iran, told NPR that he has no doubt the protests will continue and will get bigger and bigger. He asked not to use his surname to protect himself and his loved ones from the government’s reprisals.
“It is possible that the protests will stop in some cases,” he said, but since the crisis for Iran is so large and multi-dimensional, both domestic and international, in this new year, the protests will Opposition and opposition will continue to be expressed and will even be intensified.”
Protests have also taken place among Iranian diaspora in Turkey, Europe, the United States and beyond. However, Javad notes, protesters in Iran have yet to forge a truly effective connection with those abroad, who also want to see the cleric-led regime overthrown.
“Without this cooperation and coming up with a plan to put pressure on the Islamic Republic and facilitate the transition from one government to a new one, groups of people,” he said. it will be more difficult to join the movement”. “It would be difficult for people to trust the opposition without such cooperation.”
Warning of more brutal repression
To some extent, it’s remarkable that the regime has essentially pushed young Iranians into the streets, mostly because of incompetence and corruption, said Ali Vaez, an analyst at the International Crisis Group. theirs. He sees a historical parallel.
“My feeling is that the Islamic Republic is exactly where the Soviet Union was in the early 1980s, not the late 1980s,” he said. “The early 1980s in the sense that it was a system that was ideologically bankrupt, economically broken, politically deadlocked, and simply unable to solve its problems with the same orchestra. character created this deadlock in the first place.”
But one thing Vaez said is that the Iranian government has not lost its will to fight.
“And so,” he warned, “it is still capable of using far more brutal means of repression against its own people.”
Nearly four months after these protests, protesters are still a minority voice and Vaez believes that brings the current situation to a standstill.
“As long as the protests do not reach a serious level, the regime is unlikely to crack and lose its will to repress,” he said. “But as long as it shows no signs of losing its will to repress, it’s unlikely that many more protesters will take to the streets.”