Once again, the streets of several cities across Iran became a scene of public outrage at the regime. On Tuesday, retired teachers held demonstrations in 18 provinces, protesting the regime’s outrageous policies to ignore their needs and their outstanding demands. The teachers, who are struggling with exacerbating economic problems and the regime’s lack of response, gathered in front of the Majlis in Tehran and Welfare Organization offices in other cities and chanted anti-regime slogans, including, “The government betrays and the Majlis supports it.”
At the same time, the employees of the Communications Ministry in Bushehr, Fars, and Gilan province held a separate protest rally in front of the Majlis.
The accumulating outrage in front of the Majlis caused fear and concern among regime officials, especially since protests in front of the regime’s parliament have become a common scene in the past few months. Throughout December, active teachers held several rounds of nationwide strikes in more than 100 cities, protesting a legislation that is meant to gloss over their outstanding needs and demands.
Reflecting on the situation of Iranian teachers and the “Teachers Classification Bill,” one MP said, “In the Teachers Classification Bill, what was approved not only did not satisfy the teachers but it also increased their dissatisfaction.”
Another MP warned about the waves of protests joining and spinning out of control, saying, “Worry about the day that these protests opening their maw and drawing everyone and everything in one strike.”
“I feel threats; I’m concerned,” another MP said.
This feeling of worry and threat reflects the regime in its entirety, and it reflects two realities: First, protests and public outrage has expanded across all segments of the society. People from all walks of life and is constantly intensifying. Disparate protest rallies are converging and becoming province- and nation-wide protest movements, as has been seen in the past year.
The second reality is that the regime is becoming increasingly incapable in containing the people’s rage. On the one hand, the regime has resorted repression, hollow promises, divisive tactics, and other tactics to counter protests, and none of them have worked.
On the other hand, Ebrahim Raisi, the regime’s new president, has made promises to fix the economy and address the people’s problems. As the regime’s own media and experts have been saying, Raisi has been using the term “must” frequently to say that problems will be fixed, but none of them have materialized. The people’s living conditions have grown worse in recent months, prices are skyrocketing, inflation is rising, and unemployment is rampant.
In this regard, one MP mockingly said, “The government’s economic team is like a general that is giving orders but has no soldiers to obey.”
Speaking about recent protests across the country, Ahmad Vahidi, Raisi’s interior minister and a former commander of the terrorist Quds Force, said, “In regard to rallies that had just demands, our colleagues are to convince them.” This further proves that the regime is incapable of addressing the people’s needs and is instead trying to “convince” them to just cope with the situation. And if the regime’s history is any indication, the regime’s main method of convincing is to resort to violence.
Six months ago, regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei took major steps to solidify his control on the government by appointing Raisi as president. A year earlier, he paved the way for the Majlis to be totally dominated by his loyalists. He thought that consolidating power would help him maintain control on Iran’s restive society.
But today, the protests that are happening across Iran are proving him wrong. As the regime’s power wanes, protesters are becoming more organized, more resolute, and more determined to reclaim their trampled rights. And it is only a matter of time before the people turn the tide and sweep the regime and its repressive security forces.