The windfall of profit the Iranian regime received as part of ongoing nuclear negotiations with the P5+1 may have saved it from economic catastrophe, but they’re not out of the woods yet.
Recently Iran has seen a spate of civil unrest, both due to the dismal economic environment, as well as the heavy handed, undemocratic actions of the regime. It was on Tuesday the 21st that Basij forces at the entrance of Shahre Kord confronted a young couple – the Basij forces intended to harass the couple and did just that, setting their vehicle on fire. Instead of sitting idly by the couple began to fight back and they were aided by passersby who joined them in confronting the group, eventually forcing them to flee.
The regime has also sought to cruelly punish those labeled as threats, they acted by hanging two prisoners in Zahedan and Tabriz, one of whom was just 31 years old. As on the previous day, the regime’s actions failed to halt demonstrations of civil disobedience.
On the democratic front, representatives of the public transportation workers of metropolitan Tehran gathered to protest the Islamic Council of Work’s recent sham elections. In regards to the economy, several significant demonstrations took place. The first of the demonstrations was at Fajr Petrochemical, where more than 150 workers stopped working due to the contractor’s decision to prevent the employees’ representative from entering the factory – the protest continued even as workers were threatened with being reported to state security organs.
At the Poly Acryl factory in Isfahan, security forces arrested six protesting laborers. The laborers were part of a protest that has been staged for the past three months over downsizing. Similarly, 400 employees of the Iran Tire Company have continued a strike in protest of the expulsion of 80 colleagues for several days. Some protests, such as one currently transpiring in the city of Behbahan have involved hunger strikes, there a strike protesting non-payment of salaries has reached its twelfth day.
The recent domestic unrest in Iran has been ongoing and in some instances, has been seen on a very large scale. More than 22 villages in the Jafaria district of Qom gathered on Tuesday, January 21st for example in order to protest the cutoff of their water. The outcome of such protests remains unclear, but such actions at least send the message that the Iranian people will not sit silently by while their rights or livelihood is infringed upon.