By Abdolsalam Salimipoor
Many Iranian cities have witnessed massive demonstrations of the groups that came together in the last few days to protest against the economic, political and social conditions, including “poverty, unemployment” in the country without a call being made from any political personality or group.
The demonstrations in Iran began in Mashhad, the second-largest city
Victims of bankrupt companies
In fact, these protests did not suddenly appear. In the past year, the victims who have lost their investments in bankrupt financial companies -- reaching some 6,000 -- especially in Tehran and some other cities, have organized small-scale demonstrations and have raised their voices using harsh slogans.
It is estimated that there are several million people who have been suffering in Iran in this way. State and government agencies intervened only when the demonstrations got bigger.
Participation of poor, opponents
These people are among the majority of participants in the recent demonstrations. However, this time the poor section of the society and opposition political groups also seem to have joined them.
The main point of the demonstrators is about living conditions in the country, poverty, unemployment, the concentric structure of Iran's economy and foreign policy, which in turn reveals the relationship between these three groups.
Slogans at demonstrations
Among the slogans used by protesters are: “Do not spend our money in Syria, Gaza
Other slogans include: "Leave Syria and look at our conditions", “Neither
Undoubtedly, authorities of the two political wings in Iran were expecting an incident to erupt, by means of the intelligence and security institutions they had. However, they chose the path of not obstructing the people and allowed them to express their dissatisfaction with the economy.
Demonstrations may spread further
The fate of the victims’ investments remains uncertain because they have been declared bankrupt by financial institutions that -- almost all -- belong to the conservatives.
The government accepted only to pay the debts of companies "Caspian" and "Alborz", which are under the guarantee of the Central Bank of Iran. Failure to cover the debts of other bankrupt companies may cause demonstrations to spread further.
If the debt is paid by the state's budget, objections of other parts of society would be encountered. On the other hand, it is clear that the government cannot cover all these debts because of the serious lack of financial resources.
Security forces stay back
Many scenarios are being discussed
Although the government had declared the demonstrations "unauthorized and illegal", forces of the police and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps did not in any way interfere with the events. Considering that the demonstrations continued for several days, it is also quite clear that no “random arrest” was made.
Reformists, conservatives are targets
In the protests of recent days, contrary to what happened before, especially during the events that took place in 2009 in favor of the reformist wing, this time both the reformist and the conservative wings are being targeted in the slogans. This was received with astonishment by authorities of both wings, as well as political commentators.
Despite everything, these demonstrations, by gaining a political dimension, have evolved into a stage that was not expected by the authorities. For this reason, with the spread of the demonstrations throughout the country, both the government wing and the conservatives have gone to blame each other, claiming that they are not linked to the incidents.
Iran's First Vice-President Eshaq Jihangiri said this weekend: “Economic issues were being used as an excuse and something else, behind the curtain, is going on.”
On the opposite side, the Imam of Friday Prayers in Tehran said in this week's sermon: "We should not leave social space blank so that people's minds are not poisoned, and blurred with unbalanced words."
Hossein Shariatmadari, one of the strong politicians of the conservative wing and the director of Keyhan newspaper linked to Iranian Supreme Leader, said: "The suffering of the people on the subject of livelihood, the new sedition of troublemakers.”
The Revolutionary Guards Army also said: "Some groups are after new sedition.”
Mentors of the Iranian President Rouhani, such as international relations and political specialist Ferzane
They see Rouhani’s failure to object the Iranian regime’s intervention in Yemen and the appointment of a women Sunni minister to the Cabinet, as well as his silence against the house arrest of opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi and Mir-Hossein Mousavi as excuses. Shortly, we can call these demonstrations, "the regret of the votes given to Rouhani".
The incidents that have taken place in Iran over the past 20 to 30 years indicate that none of the demonstrations -- whether related to social or economic conditions, women's rights or nature -- can be prevented from reaching a political dimension.
Finally, it is possible to say that the rapprochement of the reformist and conservative wings, which has ended with Hasan Rouhani's presidency, brought with it political objections to both wings.