NCRI-US Staff, 2 January 2018
After the fifth day of protests against the clerical regime in Iran, the Iranian people show no signs of slowing down in their fight for justice. The protests began last week as an outcry against systematic economic corruption and mismanagement by the government, but quickly spread from Iran’s second-largest city of Mashhad and became increasingly political. Protestors have chanted slogans against the regime and government officials, even setting fire to government buildings involved in plundering people’s wealth or suppression of the population in a movement that now spans more than 60 cities throughout the country.
Countered by the security forces, Iranian people have taken to the streets to express their anger at the regime, chanting slogans like “death to dictator,” “death to Khamenei,” “we don’t want the Islamic Republic,” and “death to [president Hassan] Rouhani.” In light of the increasing size, strength, and energy of the protests, the Iranian regime has called for a crackdown on the movement. On Monday, January 1, the head of Iran’s Judiciary, Sadegh Amoli Larijani, said “I ask all prosecutors across the country to enter… And their approach must be firm.” Larjani also claimed “People with insight…will respond firmly.”
As part of this response by the regime, at least 1,000 protestors have been arrested over the first five days of the uprising, with 450 arrested in Tehran alone, according to the province’s deputy governor Ali-Asghar Nasserbakht. Nasserbakht also stated that 100 protestors were arrested on January 1, the fifth day of protests. IRGC Brigadier Hossein Zolfaghari, the security deputy of the Interior Ministry, has recognized that more than 90% of those arrested are under the age of 25. Protestors have clashed with IRGC forces in cities across the country, leading to a number of violent attacks that have killed members of the uprising. By the end of Monday, January 1, government security forces had shot and killed at least 30 protestors, with ten of those deaths occurring Monday in the city of Ghahdarijan.
While the protests escalate, the regime is attempting to stifle the momentum that the people of Iran have created. Meanwhile, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), is calling on “the international community to cut commercial and political ties to this medieval regime and implement comprehensive sanctions against it.” NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi is asking organizations, countries, and entities worldwide to join them in advocating for Iranians’ rights to overthrow the regime.