Protesters in Iran continue to pour out onto the streets in the majority of provinces across the country. What began as grievances over the price of bread and a cut in state subsidies on food has escalated into a full-steamed political movement that is being met with violent and deadly aggression by the Islamic Republic.
Over the weekend, reports emerged that five protesters were killed by the regime’s anti-riot forces and dozens were arrested.
“People have become more courageous than ever, and maybe it’s because they’ve hit absolute rock bottom. They feel they have nothing to lose,” a woman who requested to not use her real name told The Foreign Desk from Tehran.
Following in the fashion of the 2009 Green Revolution popular uprising in Iran, which was also dubbed the ‘Twitter Revolution,’ Iranian protestors are again informing the world through videos and posts uploaded to social media. Combatting the use of the Internet and various website that have been instrumental in helping Iranian protesters organize and broadcast their movement, the regime repeatedly has resorted to shutting down the Internet, forcing Iranians to seek out proxy servers and other circumvention tools to have their voices heard.
“We need help. The U.S. and central media sources know their power. They are the ones who must help us,” said Jamshid, a man from Shiraz who did not want to share his full name for security reasons.
“The West is only focused on the Iran deal. When it comes to Iran, they forget about us. They forget about human rights,” Jamshid said.
“It is unconscionable and un-American to minimize the horror of the Iranian people down to a protest over rising prices. Unarmed men and women are getting killed on the streets. This is not about rising prices. They are calling for an end to the reign of terror, tyranny, institutionalized corruption and kleptocracy of the Islamic Republic,” Hon. Bijan Kian, president of the Institute for Voices of Liberty, a think tank seeking to bring awareness about the atrocities of the Islamic Republic. Kian, originally of Iranian decent, also served as cabinet member under Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump.
“The protesters’ message to Washington is loud and clear: don’t throw our oppressors a new lifeline. Don’t give the killers more money. They won’t buy bread to feed us, they will buy bullets to silence us,” Kian said.