Iran has a rich history and a culture that dates back thousands of years, but its present is marred by an authoritarian regime.
For decades, the country has been under the rule of a theocratic government with a record of human rights violations and suppression of free speech. Despite this, the younger generation in Iran is rejecting the regime and pushing for change.
The youth in Iran make up a significant portion of the population. Around 60% of the country’s citizens are under the age of 30.
These young people have grown up in an era where it is much more difficult for the government to control access to information. This has made it very hard for the regime to impose its fundamentalist views onto them.
The Iranian regime has long suppressed free speech, and this has only served to fuel the anger of the country’s youth.
Social media platforms such as Telegram and Instagram have become popular among young Iranians, allowing them to voice their opinions and connect with like-minded individuals.
This has led to a growing movement of young people who are calling for change and demanding greater freedom.
One of the most notable examples of this movement was the protests that erupted last year after the regime’s morality police killed Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian Kurdish woman, in custody.
Youths from across the country from all walks of life responded with protests and started to target the regime’s medieval laws, especially against women. The participation of women and their leadership in the protests was significant.
The government responded with force, killing hundreds, arresting thousands, and cracking down on social media sites in an attempt to stifle dissent.
Despite the crackdown, the youth in Iran continue to push for change. In addition to expressing their opposition to the regime on social media, the youth continue their protest activities in Iran cities, including targeting regime icons and centers in different cities.
The Iranian regime has responded to this movement with a mix of repression and attempts at co-optation. While it has cracked down on protesters and arrested activists, it has also tried to present itself as a champion of the youth, creating initiatives aimed at young people and trying to portray itself as progressive.
However, these efforts have largely fallen flat, with many young Iranians viewing the regime’s attempts at outreach as insincere and manipulative.
During an interview, Amanollah Qaraei Moghadam, a sociologist, recognized a significant shift in the quality of Iranian society, saying, “The younger generation has undergone a transformation and is no longer accepting imposition.
History has shown that whenever there is coercion and imposition in social and ideological matters, the opposite tends to occur.
“Today’s youth are independent and logical, relying on their own intellect, knowledge, and understanding, rather than complying with the government’s wishes… In my view, society has its own way of functioning, and the stricter the rules, the more likely it is that the younger generation will react negatively. In addition to distancing themselves from the new generation, these strict measures are likely to increase aggression.”
From his statements, it is evident that the government’s attempt to quell the recent uprising by enforcing mandatory hijab laws and restricting young people’s freedoms has proven ineffective.
The government’s goal of returning society to its previous state has failed, and further pressure on women and youth will only fuel the ongoing revolt. The regime seems to be unaware of the fact that the situation has changed and that this change is irreversible.
And according to Qaraei Moghadam, “Society has progressed beyond the point it was six months ago, and it is now up to the policymakers to adapt to this change, as the younger generation is forging their own path.”
The passion and determination of Iran’s youth are undeniable, and their rejection of the regime has sent a powerful message. As the country continues to grapple with political and economic challenges, it is clear that the youth of Iran will play a vital role in shaping the country’s future.