Protests erupted at the turn of the year, partly because the new budget was released, and it showed where the money was going, while subsidies to the poorest Iranians were being cut.
Unpaid wages have sparked multiple protests in a variety of industries. The rural areas of Iran are struggling with environmental issues, yet the regime refused offers of international aid for its people.
In early February 2018, the Euromoney Iran Conference was held in Paris, aimed at bringing together Iranian bankers and industrial leaders with their international counterparts to discuss and debate issues of the Iranian economy.
However, Iran’s funding of various militias throughout the Middle East, some of whom are labeled terrorist organizations by the international community, has resulted in calls for countermeasures to be imposed.
The Iranian economy is also suffering because of the unexpected devaluation of the Rial on the free currency market.
International pressure is bearing down on Iran’s government, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) over Iran’s continued militarily engagement with Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Israel and other countries of the Middle East.
Implementation of the 2015 nuclear agreement released impounded funds to Iran, and lifted many economic sanctions. The Iranian people believed that they were finally going to benefit. The money has been used instead, to fund its wars and military endeavors. It seems as if the regime hope that their a people will come together if they are at war.
Still, the Iranian people clearly showed their opposition to these endeavors during their protest. Slogans that disavowed Iran’s participation in them were shouted across locations throughout Iran. The people were also calling for regime change, and although they have not yet organized to a level that involves the overthrow of the Iranian regime, it is clear that this desire is becoming stronger.
Will this mean that the international community will one day be sitting across the table looking at a new government and a new set of leaders? The Iranian people deserve a government that is focused on leading them, not just using them.