In several ways, the protests in Isfahan in recent days differ from the previous protests of Iran. First, the Iranian regime could predict that the protests would expand, especially because they took place in one of Iran’s large and main metropoles, therefore they were able to get ready to confront the protests and repress the people from the beginning of the gathering, but the situation created after November 2019 prevented the regime from such a course of action.
Another characteristic of these protests was the presence of the older people of the society, and its occurrence outside the city center, on the site of a dried-up river with the background of a historic monument that created a combination of a more traditional and religious crowd with the participation of the youths, which was not observable in recent protests, where the main protesters were the youths.
However, anything changed after the regime witnessed that more and more people were joining the protest of the farmers and the slogans from requesting water rights were converting against the regime and the people sought regime change and targeted the regime’s supreme leader, which is a red line for the regime.
The regime started to attack the farmers and the people and brunt their tents. This changed the situation and the youths started to confront the regime. Immediately after the people’s reaction, the regime attributed this reaction to the incitement of foreign hands, to have an excuse to repress the people by separating the farmers’ water rights protests from the youths who came to the help of the farmers after the regime decided to stop the protests and attacked the farmers.
However, this time, the regime made a wrong calculation, and this alibi did not work, because such a claim became obsolete after the regime’s crimes in the November 2019 protests and the killing of 1500 people.
The regime while becoming feeble thinks that it can repress the people like the past. From its view, it was right that a fierce confrontation will scatter the people faster, but this will not solve anything and in any new protest, more frustrated and angry people will join the protests and this time not only the youths but all the strata.
“The insistence of official policies on linking similar protests to foreign hands may have a temporary effect on persuading some or justifying certain behaviors, but at the same time, it will divert people’s attention to the outside, as it will also lead protesters to conclude that the solution is abroad. Because the official policy is also attributing them to the other side of the water.
“Even if there are hands from outside which are observable, you must exercise some restraint. The occurrence of these complications and the spread of its images is a kind of salt pouring on the wound. A wound that needs to heal, not become an ulcer.” (State-run daily Etemad, November 30, 2021)