The third day in Iran does not stop the riots. Protests began with economic slogans against price increases, but quickly developed into political ones. A difficult situation in the republic is used by "hostile external players" not only in the Middle East, but also in the West. So, the US has already publicly promised "not to stay away" and help the Iranians in the fight against the "cruel regime."
The number of deaths during the riots in Iran rose to 20 people, Western media reported. On the night of 2 January, nine people were killed, the Associated Press agency reported citing local media. Earlier, six people were killed in an attack on a police station in the city of Kahdaridzhan, where protesters tried to steal weapons. Earlier, 11-year-old girl, as well as an 20-year-old man and a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), who was shot from a hunting rifle, were victims of the riots, the agency stressed.
Three days of protest actions against the government arrested at least 450 people, the Associated Press reports with reference to the deputy governor of Tehran on security issues, Ali Asgar Nasserbaht. 200 protesters were arrested 30 December, another 150 - 31 December, while about a hundred protestors were in custody 1 January.
Recall, the reason for the mass rallies was the price increase. After the indignant protesters took to the streets, political demands joined the economic demands, appeals for riots and slogans "Death to the dictator!" And "I will kill those who killed my brother!" Followed. In many cities and especially in the capital, demonstrators attacked police stations, and government buildings were also attacked. At the same time, protest rallies began with rallies in defense of the Iranian government.
Earlier Monday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said mass protests were provoked not only by internal problems, but also by interference from other states: "The enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran are angry with the glory, success and progress of the Iranian nation, they vowed to cause problems in the country, but the people and the Iranian government will answer them, "Roushan Tass quoted. He was also supported by the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: "The enemies united by all means, including money and weapons, to harm the state power," he stressed.
At the same time, the Iranian president noted that the protests are "an opportunity to clarify the deep roots of the problem. Not all people who go on the streets obey foreigners, some of them protest because of their own feelings and problems, "Rouhani stressed.
Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of the Islamic Republic Ali Shamkhani also said that some of the Iranian people are outraged by the economic situation in the country. but
"This is done by hostile external forces that are pursuing the goal of hindering the rebirth of Iran by inflicting a blow from within,
"said Shamkhani. Among the "external forces" he called the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Britain. They, at least, conduct campaigns in social networks on carrying out of protest actions. "Based on our analysis, about 27% of new hashtags directed against Iran are developed by the Saudi government," Shahmani said. Meanwhile, "what is happening in Iran will end in a few days," he said.
President of the United States Donald Trump did not hide his interest in Iranian events and stressed in his Twitter that "the time has come for a change for the great Iranian people" who "suffered reprisals for many years" and now "needs food and freedom" . Vice President of the States Michael Pence also promised that the current US administration will not repeat the mistakes of the past and will not "stand by and ignore the heroic resistance of the Iranian people fighting the brutal regime," the politician said in his Twitter.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the words about his country's involvement in the demonstrations in Iran are "not only lies, it's ridiculous ... Brave Iranians take to the streets, they are striving for freedom, justice and to inalienable rights," the politician stressed, which is quoted by Tass. When "the brutal regime in Iran finally falls, and one day it will happen, the Iranians and Israelis will again become good friends ... I wish success to the Iranian people in its noble pursuit of freedom," Netanyahu said. The European Union called on Iran to guarantee its citizens the right to peaceful demonstrations and freedom of expression, said Kathryn Rey, representative of the EU foreign policy service, in her Twitter.
The head of the international committee of the Council of Federation, Konstantin Kosachev, also said that the protests in Iran are due in part to internal political and internal economic processes. For example, we are talking about "a rise in price of chicken eggs almost twice a week," he said. In this case there is also an "external influence". For example, there were "clues" of Washington to protest participants: "Say, say what you need, and external support is guaranteed to you." The US will be happy to shake Iran from the inside, - Kosachev is sure. Teheran should "be on the alert", because "the very influential forces of the world are interested in the" Arab Spring "becoming" Persian ", - the senator said.
Recall similar mass protests in Iran were held in 2009, when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner of the presidential elections. The opposition refused to recognize the official results of the vote and throughout the second half of the year 2009 regularly held protests accompanied by street riots. The internal political situation in Iran fully normalized only at the beginning of 2010.
Almost nine years have passed since then. And if then the current Protestants had only slogans, now they are, so to speak, "disgruntled middle-aged peasants" who are very concerned about how to live on, - said the senior researcher of the MGIMO Analytical Center of the Russian Foreign Ministry Leonid Gusev . He recalled that Iran has long been under sanctions, and the standard of living has greatly deteriorated. After the signing of the nuclear agreement in 2015, "the sanctions began to be canceled, but very slowly," the expert said.
The presence of "external players" is not to be denied. "All kinds of special services will always interfere," Gusev said. "There is no doubt that Trump, the Israeli leadership wants a revolution in Iran. But if there are no internal conditions for the rise of discontent, then no external force can do anything, "said professor Vladimir Sazhin in an interview with the newspaper VZGLYAD and a member of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
So the key problems are inside the republic, experts say. It is economic difficulties that push the population into the street, Gusev is sure. More than 50% of the population in Iran is youth up to 25 years, which actively participates in protests, he added.
The fact that "youth energy is actively involved in protests, Sazhin also pointed out. However, they protest not only against economic problems, "the youth are tired of ideological pressure," the expert said. He recalled that most young Iranians know English, use the Internet massively.
Foreign policy appeals against the so-called current political adventures - IRGC participation in Iraq, Yemen and Syria - also joined economic slogans. All this is spent huge money, which, according to the protesters, should be invested in the economy, Sazhin added.
However, the protesters do not have a charismatic leader who can lead their movement. So "I do not think that events will lead to the fall of the Islamic regime in Iran. But the impact will be significant, both for domestic and foreign policy, "Sazhin stressed.
He recalled that conditionally in Iran there are two opposing forces: the so-called reformers-liberals and radical conservatives, whose representatives include Ayatollah Khamenei. Depending on whose strength wins, "the changes can be liberal-reformatory, and vice versa, twisting the nuts along the radical Islamic direction," Sazhin said.
Meanwhile, the tightening of nuts and other radical steps are dangerous, since any escalation is fraught with consequences, for example, the escalation of the economic conflict into a national one, Gusev said. He recalled that about 50% of Persians live in Iran, as well as Kurds, Arabs and Azerbaijanis, whose number reached 25-30 million people and who are actively represented in the elite, the army, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ayatollah Khamenei himself is also Azerbaijani.
So far, Rouhani spoke on local television "with a very conciliatory speech," he did not threaten that we all would be imprisoned, but he reminded that people have the right to express their opinion, but they must abide by the law, "Gusev said. However, as events develop further, experts do not hurry to predict: "The situation is really complicated," Gusev summed up.