By John Liu | IRAN
Since December 28, 2017, the Iranians have been protesting against the government and the economy and looks like it is not going to end anytime soon. So what caused this and what is going to be an outcome of this situation?
The situation really started in 2012 after the sanction was placed on Iran for their nuclear program, which causes a mini-recession in the country. The Iranian rial’s value plummed to a low 23,000 to one U.S. dollar. Even though Iran is one of the most educated places in the world, many of the citizens could not find a job and is trying to find jobs overseas, causing a “brain drain”. But when the sanction was lifted by the P5+1 in 2016. However, there was supposed to be more job opportunities and a better life, but none of that has been reached and the U.S. created new sanctions after Iran violated some of the agreement including launching a rocket this past summer. Many of the people in Iran are looking at this situation like the 2008 Great Recession (which did not affect Iran at the time).
Now the protests were originally about the economic policies of the government but the protests now consist of political opposition against Ali Khamenei, a Supreme Leader of Iran. Most of the protests in the country are rather peaceful, but there are some that are violent like attacking police stations and starting fires. As of January 7, 2018, there are 23 people who died during this protests including a police officer and 1,000+ arrested. That is relatively peaceful overall if you consider that most of the police officers are not attacking the protesters. Also, this protest is less violent than the 1992 LA Riot, which is caused 63 deaths, 12,111 people arrested and caused $1 billion dollars in damage in one week.
What does this mean for the rest of the world? In Russia, Turkey, and the UK, they are hoping that the protests will remain peaceful. The U.S. president Donald Trump supports the people in a tweet that states that the government should respect the people’s rights and supports the people of Iran who are outraged at the government and its corruption. But for the long run, it is hard to say. Because people are rebelling against the government, there is a possibility of a revolution in the country fighting for freedom. If successful, it might change the landscape of Iran and the world forever. However, nothing will change, probably. There were protests after the 2009 Iranian election but nothing has really changed since the protest.
For all we know, the riot is still going and the tension is still high, but it is one step in the right direction to freedom.