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July 26 2021

Policy Briefs

Iran Protests Erupt in Tehran

Protests have spread to Tehran after 11 days of nationwide anti-government demonstrations, which originally began in Khuzestan.

On Monday, videos circulating on social media show protesters chanting slogans such as “Death to the dictator,” and “Clerics, get lost!” referring to the clerical regime that has ruled in Iran for 42 years, led by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Another video shows hospital workers walking off the job and marching in the street while chanting “Death to the dictator”, and “Today is the mourning day, workers’ lives hang in the balance!”

Protesters in Tehran also chant , “From Tehran to Khuzestan, unity, unity,” showing that Iranians from all ethnic backgrounds are united in their demand for the overthrow of the Islamic Regime and are not seeking ethnic separatism.

Protests are taking place in different parts of Tehran, and the famous slogan “Not for Gaza, Not for Lebanon, My Life for Iran!” dominates some crowds. 

This slogan has been used since the 2009 Green Movement in opposition to the regime’s support for terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. “Reza Shah bless your soul” is often heard among the crowd as well.

Hamidreza Goodarzi, deputy governor of Tehran, confirmed the rally on Jomhuri Street in Tehran, saying that the protest is caused by “lack of electricity.”

Despite the magnitude of Iran’s protests, the US government has yet to issue a message of solidarity to the country, leading Iranian human rights activists to raise concerns that the world’s silence emboldens the regime to massacre protesters; as they have done in the past. 

Looking forward, it will be critical for the global community to hold the Islamic Republic accountable for their treatment of these protestors. The regime has a history of using violence to quash inconvenient demonstrations, and it is paramount that this behavior is not allowed to continue.