In 2021 like the last two years, Iran witnessed many protests and uprisings against the Iranian regime. The protests began in Saravan and other cities of Sistan and Baluchestan Province, southeastern Iran. In the summer, they confronted the regime in Khuzestan province, southwestern Iran, over water scarcity.

In the autumn, farmers in Isfahan protested because of the water shortage and the drying up of the Zayandeh Rud River. local residents joined the farmers’ protests, expanding the protest to many parts of the city.

Iran was the scene of many organized protests by retirees, educators, students, and workers of different industries.

All in all, there were 11,384 acts of protest in Iran in 2021. This figure is more than twice the number of 4,482 protests in 2020. Some 455 cities of 31 provinces were the scenes of protests last year.

Cities and provinces with the most protests:

  • Khuzestan: 196 protests
  • Isfahan: two major protests
  • Saravan: 24 protests

Breakdown of the protests by sector:

  • Workers: 8,069 protests, including 7,203 strikes by the petrochemical and oil workers in 44 cities in 16 provinces. Some 862 protests by workers of other industries in 151 cities in 30 provinces.
  • Teachers, educators, trainers: 1,058 protests, including 78 protests by educators in the Fars Province. The two-day strike by the educators in 251 cities. Other protests by the educators included 729 protests in 173 cities in 31 provinces.
  • Retirees: 569 protests in 47 cities in 27 provinces.
  • Farmers: 111 protests in 21 cities in 11 provinces.
  • High school students: 53 protests in 37 cities in 23 provinces.
  • Physicians: 61 protests in 20 cities in 18 provinces.
  • Creditors: 38 protests in 7 cities in 5 provinces.
  • Ranchers: 34 protests in 23 cities in 14 provinces.
  • College students: 28 protests in 13 cities in 10 provinces.
  • Nurses: 44 protests in 15 cities in 12 provinces.
  • Businessmen: 21 protests in 16 cities in 11 provinces.
  • Truck drivers: 12 protests in 11 cities in 10 provinces.
  • Chicken farmers: 11 protests in six cities in 6 provinces.
  • Taxi drivers: 7 protests in seven cities in 6 provinces.
  • Engineers: 8 protests in six cities in 6 provinces.
  • Flood victims: 2 protests in one city.
  • Prisoners: 66 protests in 13 cities in10 provinces.
  • Other strata: 1,048 protests in 292 cities in 10 provinces.

Characteristics of the protests:

  • In many protests, people clashed with the regime’s security forces.
  • The presence of women and youths in uprisings was significant.
  • Popular protests took place in all 31 provinces of Iran and in different cities of each Province.
  • A significant number of these protests were organized with calls on social media.
  • The demands of the various strata gradually shifted from economic issues to slogans against the regime and its conduct.
  • In most cases, the regime failed to crack down on the people as it did in previous years.