For the fourth day, furious Iranian citizens are taking to the streets to rail against the regime they blame for devastating the country’s economy. There are no burning American flags. Rather, protests are directed at their own leaders. That would be the Ayatollah and the puppet regime that represses 80 million people.
Protests have broken out in a number of cities this week over the dramatic drop of the country’s currency and other economic problems ahead of the imposition of renewed US sanctions.
Videos shared online purportedly show some furious Iranians burning tyres and setting fire to police vehicles as demonstrations spun out of control.
Referring to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, many chanted ‘death to the dictator’ at protests.
‘The nation is forced to beg while the leader lives like God,’ was also among the furious chants against the Iranian regime at protests, according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a political organisation founded to oppose the fundamentalist regime ruling Iran.
On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, people demonstrated in the city of Karaj, west of Tehran, Iran’s state-run news agency IRNA reported. The protests are so widespread, the media is forced to report it lest it look feeble in the eyes of the millions who see it taking place outside their apartments.
In videos circulated on social media and purporting to have been taken in the town of Gohardasht, a suburb of Karaj, dozens of demonstrators can be seen in the streets, setting fire to police vehicles and shouting ‘death to the dictator.’
Police responded with tear gas.
Another video purportedly from Isfahan in central Iran showed protesters setting tyres ablaze in a bid to evade arrest.
The authenticity of the videos could not immediately be verified.
‘Scattered protests’ of a few hundred people were reported by state news agencies on Thursday, which police had brought under control.
About 100 people took to the streets in the northern city of Sari, as well as unspecified numbers in the cities of Shiraz, Ahavz and Mashhad, IRNA said.
Videos posted on social media have shown days of demonstrations in Isfahan and minor protests in the capital on Thursday night.
It is not known if the protests will continue to grow to rival the size of crowds that filled dozens of towns and cities in December and January.
But anxiety is everywhere, especially over the collapse of the rial, which has lost nearly two-thirds of its value in six months.
‘We are seeing protests and they will continue,’ Adnan Tabatabai, head of the CARPO think tank in Germany, told AFP.
‘The establishment knows they are legitimate but my biggest concern is they will be hijacked by groups inside and outside the country and turn violent.’
All protests had taken place without official permission and were subsequently broken up by police, the agency said.
A video from Shiraz, a city in south-central Iran, showed a seven-year-old boy who had reportedly had tear gas fired in his face by police.
M. Hanif Jazayeri, with the NCR, who shared the video on Twitter, also shared clips of angry chants from protesters in Karaj.
‘Mullahs must answer for wasting Iran’s wealth on terror,’ he added.
Maryam Rajavi, NCR’s president-elect, has said that Iran’s economy will not recover until the regime is toppled.
According to the NCR, the Iranian regime spent billions funding war in Syria and conflicts across the Middle East – as well as funding terrorism and supporting proxy groups ‘that carry out criminal activities on its behalf.
Mrs Rajavi says the disastrous state of the economy in Iran is a direct result of the regime’s policies.
‘Protesters will not rest until the Iranian people and the nation are free,’ she said.
Many Iranians quietly state their hopes for support from President Trump whom they see as on their side vs. the violent Iranian rulers. During the last administration, President Obama had sided with the Ayatollah through his silence during similar protests. Seeing there was no strong American response, the Iranian president brutally put down the pro-democracy movement with untold numbers being killed and thousands more imprisoned.
‘The cry for freedom is becoming louder, and the uprising is expanding more and more every moment,” she said.
‘There is no force more powerful than the united force of young people.’
After protests broke out on Tuesday, she said: ‘Today, the world can see that the voice of Iranians cannot be silence despite massive repression, and their uprisings are carrying on until victory.
‘These are the blazing flames of resistance with over 100,000 martyrs, flaring up in the streets after forty years.