In a recent study, the Iranian regime’s University of National Defense and Strategic Research declared, “Of every four Iranians, three would participate in upcoming protests against the regime.”
The University, affiliated with the Defense Ministry, also warned about the growing rate of public grievances and the potential nationwide demonstrations, akin to those that occurred in January 2018 and November 2019.
The study read that the government’s response to the 2018 and 2019 protests and the country’s status quo has created a severe sense of injustice and inequality among citizens. In such circumstances, the economic crisis has added insult to millions of Iranians’ injuries.
Increasing the Public Discontent to 76 Percent
The study claimed that the people’s fury would be materialized in “Disturbance, unrest, riots, and protesting collective behaviors.” Public disappointment in the country’s current situation is high, particularly in financial, political, social, and cultural aspects. “At least 76 percent of people feel social injustice and inequality.”
Based on the university’s survey, conducted in the capital city of Tehran, 67.2 percent of citizens expressed that they have experienced ‘a feeling of relative deprivation’ at a ‘high level’.
Around 28.4 percent of participants said their requirements were not met at a ‘high level’, while 53.9 percent of the survey attendees declared that their needs were unmet at a ‘middle level’.
The research shows that the essential needs of 82.3 percent of people subjected to the survey have yet to be met. According to the study, 59.4 percent of society believes that an “anomic and abnormal situation” has shaded the country.
Three Out of Four Iranians Tend to Protest
In regards to the people’s tendency to engage in anti-regime protests, the study claimed that only 25.1 percent of people rejected joining any kind of demonstration. Instead, 41.7 percent said they would participate in low-profile protests, 22.5 percent with a middle range, and 7.07 percent are passionate about engaging in all demonstrations.
Researchers classified protests into ‘civil’ and ‘non-civil’ types. Based on their study, civil activities include writing protesting letters and scrolls, or holding strikes, boycotts, rallies, sit-ins, etc.
They ranged as non-civil protests as ‘riots’, and street demonstrations which led to the attacking, and possible torching, of government offices, security force bases, and other state-backed facilities such as seminaries, banks, MPs’ offices, the propaganda apparatus (IRIB), and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) centers.
The survey added, “Around 32.1 percent of people tend to participate in “civil” and “peaceful” protests in a mid-range, 17.7 percent declared their extreme passion for attending such activities.”
The study also tried to downplay public hatred against the theocracy. It claimed, “Around 66.1 percent of survey attendees said they do not participate in non-civil protests. These stats show that ‘violent tendency has significantly been weakened’ in society. Citizens would like to show their protests in ‘peaceful’ forms.”
This is while the Parliament [Majlis] National Security chair Mojtaba Zonnour narrated another tale about the first two days of gas protests in November 2019. In an interview with IRGC-Quds Force affiliated Tasnim news agency on June 1, 2020, he said, “Some 497 government centers and private sector buildings were damaged due to destruction, fire, and explosion. Around 194 government and public centers were targeted aside from the damaged buildings.”
Then-Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli, responsible for the bloody November crackdown, stated that 200,000 citizens totally took part in gas protests. In his interview with the state-run TV One Channel, Rahmani-Fazli sarcastically claimed demonstrators participated in 100 areas of Tehran and 27 other provinces.
Stunning admissions by Iran's Interior Minister on live TV:
– 200,000 ppl took part in the #IranProtests
– Protests took place in 100 areas of Tehran + in 27 provinces
He is of course minimizing the numbers. After 40 yrs Iran's people are demanding freedom from religious tyranny pic.twitter.com/zlo9oMs8pU
— M. Hanif Jazayeri (@HanifJazayeri) November 27, 2019
Remarkably, according to reports from human rights activists, bystanders, and families who lost their loved ones, the regime murdered more than 1,500 protesters during the November 2019 uprising to silence people’s lawful grievances. Security forces, IRGC affiliates, and intelligence officers also detained between 10,000 and 12,000 demonstrators.
In the days following the crackdown, citizens found the lifeless bodies of several people severely tortured in water canals, beside roads, and other public sites. Locals later discovered that unknown corpses belonged to detained protesters. To this day, the fate of many people who were arrested back then is still unclear.
Injustice, Inequality, and Depravation, Three Vital Parameters for Protest
Caption: The mullahs’ mismanagement, corruption, and crimes left a vast gap between society and state in Iran, which only be filled via fundamental changes.
According to the study, six parameters affect public protests in Iran. They include, “the perception of injustice,” “a feeling of depravation,” “ignoring the social status,” “growing grievances,” “unmet needs,” and “a feeling of social abnormality.”
There is a meaningful link between “the perception of injustice and feeling of injustice” in different aspects and the rising rate of demonstrations.
The study read, “The government’s failure to address citizens’ demands significantly increases social discontent. Failing to address citizens’ individual and social requirements would pave the path for social protests in both civil and non-civil forms.”
The research also points to economic inequalities, warning, “Economic inequalities beside the social suffocation bears the most critical role in striking a ‘feeling of relative depravation’ in society. ‘Depriving sense would be demonstrated in civil and social protests.”
Researchers said, “Would the people’s demands not be addressed, public grievances increase daily, law obedience will decrease, and the bedrock for civil, non-civil, and even violent protests would be met. In such circumstances, more classes of society, including those who benefit from decent positions, would join protests.”
Scattered Waves with the Same Direction
Further reports indicated that Iran’s society is subjected to rapid developments. Two significant waves of nationwide protests in 2018 and 2019, along with the officials’ longstanding incompetence and mismanagement, irresponsible nuclear and regional policies, and their devastating consequences on the country’s financial system, have left the theocratic rule vulnerable to potential socio-economic challenges.
The Iran Emrooz media outlet stated, “During the second half of the 2010s, the mentioned parameters intensified these ‘seemingly scattered waves, but in the same direction,’ which would change Iran’s future profoundly.”
The study also considered the growing influence of social media among Iranians, the unprecedented effect of Bourse, securities, and the dollar exchange rate on people’s socioeconomic lives, before stating that the coronavirus’s challenges are parts of “seemingly scattered waves, but in the same direction.”
Such developments have turned Iran’s society into a ‘society of risk.’ The study suggested that “Iran has entered into a long and ceaseless period of financial instability coincided with a depreciating rate of the national currency Rial and property values, and a rampant inflation rate.”
In a nutshell, the study providers are sounding alarm bells about the current situation in Iran. They highlighted, “In such circumstances, authorities can never ignore the risk of mass, unpredictable, and violent riots by hard-hit Iran strata.”