Avi Melamed ~ Inside The Middle East
Rising gasoline prices in Iran have resulted in an outbreak of mass protests across Iran.
Protestors are blocking roads and setting fire to public buildings, banks that are owned by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, police stations, etc. They are also burning posters and destroying statues of the leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, the first Supreme Leader of Iran who instituted an Islamic Theocracy, and his successor, Al Khamenei, the current Supreme Ruler of Iran.
Filmed reports show protesters storming Iranian security forces who fired at the protesters. There are reports of fatalities and injuries.
The current outbreak of protests in Iran is due to a combination of two main factors:
One factor is the severe economic and social hardship of the Iranian people – enormous unemployment, poverty, crime, drugs, prostitution, spiraling inflation, enormous corruption, violent repression of protests and criticism, strangulation of human rights and citizens’ rights. These mounting challenges coupled with the severe consequences of US sanctions on the Iranian economy are igniting the streets of Iran.
The second cause is the ongoing protests in Iraq and Lebanon that began in early October 2019. For over a month now, the Iraqi and Lebanese people have been protesting on the streets, in the squares, in the cities, in rural communities….They are demanding an end to the reign of the corrupt politicians and governments who have dragged the people to the abyss of despair. In addition, the people of Lebanon and Iraq – men and women, young and old, from different religions, sects, and communities are demanding an end to the poisonous grip the Iranian Mullah regime has on their countries. Iran has employed corrupt and cynical local politicians to enslave the people of Lebanon and Iraq in the service of the hegemonic vision of the murderous Iranian Mullah regime. The Iraqi and Lebanese people no longer want to be pawns in Iran’s violent bid to be the regional superpower. The Iraqis and Lebanese want the Iranian control of Lebanon and Iraq to end.
The protests in Lebanon have led to the downfall of the government.
The protests in Iraq have thus far resulted in more than 300 Iraqi protesters being killed and more than 11,000 injured.
The outbreak of mass protests in Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran have very significant implications for the entire Middle East.
The Mullah regime promotes a vision of regional hegemony, based upon Iran’s political, military and economic control over the entire area between Iran and the Mediterranean. Control of Iraq and Lebanon is critical to realizing the vision of Iranian hegemony. The protests in Iraq and Lebanon are causing fierce political turmoil that weakens the power and influence of Iran’s proxy in Lebanon – Hezbollah, and Iranian-backed Iraqi Shi’ite militias in Iraq. The weakening of Iran’s grip on Iraq and Lebanon threatens to destroy the vision of Iranian hegemony. In addition, the Iranian regime is now facing what appears to be an outbreak of a popular uprising in Iran that could threaten the survival of the Iranian Mullah regime. In my article “Protests in Iran: The Mullah’s Regime Autumn” (January 2018) I wrote: “The regime’s” autumn “does not threaten its existence. However, failing to profoundly and quickly address the challenges at home may cause a” Mullah Regime’s Winter “in the form of a massive eruption of an uprising in Iran which will jeopardize the endurance of the regime.”
Has the Mullah regime’s winter arrived?
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