Since Mahsa Amini, an Iranian-Kurdish woman, was taken into custody by the morality police for wearing inappropriate clothes seven weeks ago, the Islamic Republic has been subject to a steady stream of anti-government protests.
According to the activist HRANA news agency, the sit-down strikes took place in Tehran and Isfahan as part of a popular rebellion calling for the execution of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Muhammad Khamenei.
Protests are one of the most challenging challenges Iran’s clergy leaders have faced in decades. They have been growing stronger, frustrating authorities who tried to blame Iran’s foreign enemies or their agents for the unrest. This narrative is not believed by many Iranians.
Omid Memarian (DAWN), senior Iran analyst, said that while people risk their lives to march on the streets, the hope of defeating the regime is greater than their fears.
Asieh Bakeri is the daughter of a war veteran from Iraq’s 1980s conflict. She lashed out at Iran’s rulers.
She said that martyrs look over us, but also watch over your theft of public funds, discrimination and oppression, as well as pouring innocent blood. This is a sign of how discontent is spreading to families with special places in society.
“You shoot at people with war arms it’s been years that you harass journalists with accusations spying.”
Protesters of all walks of life took part in the demonstration, with students and women taking a prominent role waving and burning their headscarves.
Analysts are skeptical that protests will bring down Iran’s clerical rulers, but they believe the unrest can be a step towards dramatic political change.
Sanam Vakil (deputy director, Royal Institute of International Affairs) stated that protests were being seen as an opportunity for people to demand change.
According to HRANA, at least four students from Bahonar Middle School were detained by security forces in Sanandaj.
Iran’s hardline judiciary will conduct public trials of approximately 1,000 people accused of unrest in Tehran. This will intensify efforts to crush demonstrations for weeks.