Al-Quds: Iranians hold annual anti-Israel demonstration The Informant247

EXPLAINER | Protests in Iran explained in 500 words

Al-Quds: Iranians hold annual anti-Israel demonstration The Informant247

Tehran finds itself in the throes of a political crisis. The Islamic Republic is on the precipice with weeks of protests on course across the state of over 85 million people.

Public demonstrations which thus far have exposed the fault line in Iranian society, all started as a movement to counter repressive policies on dress code.

In what has now evolved into a wider appeal for reforms, scores of demonstrators have been killed and thousands arrested, with no official figures by state authorities.

Calls for accountability continue to echo across the world with the Iranian diaspora in active participation.

What triggered protests?

On September 13, Mahsa Amini, an Iranian of Kurdish background, was arrested and detained by police forces in Tehran, the Iranian state capital.

She was apprehended for wearing what the morality police deemed to be an inappropriate dress. While in detention, she slipped into a coma and passed on. However, this is contestable.

Differing opinions

Iranian authorities have assured that the reasons for her death will be looked into and whereas they claim that initial examination points to natural causes, her relatives and protesters insisted she had suffered abuse at the hands of the police.

Demonstrations started in response to her death, and where this could all end up is up for debate.

How has the Iranian government responded?

There has been a crackdown on information and protesters, including Students. Counter-demonstrations in support of the Iranian leadership are on course too.

The Islamic Republic accuses regional forces and blames international foes for the political unrest.

Tehran considers the Kurds as the masterminds of the protests and has carried out rocket and drone attacks on Iranian Kurdish dissidents.

On October 3, Iranian Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei hit out at the United States and Israel for “fomenting” the wave of the political upheaval.

International reactions

Iran-Western relations seem off the mend as protests continue to gain momentum.

Several European countries have submitted proposals for EU sanctions against Tehran.

Both Washington and London have imposed sanctions on the morality police.

The United Nations has required an impartial inquiry into Amini’s death and allegations that she was tortured.

Where this could all end up is one to keep tabs on.

What is next for Iran?

With weeks of protests predominantly led by women, one fact stands out: there has been an unprecedented fightback against security forces.

The Iranian leadership remains at odds with Western powers on policy issues and at the heart of this conflictual relations is the Iranian nuclear program, one that is closely monitored.

Tehran is additionally beset with a series of both domestic and regional issues. Its economy is the second most sanctioned in the world.

Undoubtedly, civil unrest comes with both political and economic consequences and until Iran addresses the root cause of the protest, public anger may not subside.

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