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Iran Protests & Demonstrations

The Iranian regime is a theocratic state based on the velayat-e faqih principle (absolute clerical rule). Iran’s authoritarian rulers violently clamp down on popular demands, including calls for greater personal freedoms and equality.

Since early 1980, Iranians have demonstrated against their fundamental rights violations and demanded freedom and democracy.

In the last few years, there have been many significant protests and uprisings in Iran. The first such protests began in December 2017 and lasted through much of the following month, spreading to well over 100 cities and towns along the way. The slogans of the protests included “death to the dictator” and “death to Rouhani,” in reference to the regime’s supreme leader and the so-called reformist president, respectively.

Another major uprising was in November 2019, when the regime’s announcement of gasoline price hikes sparked renewed outrage among Iranian people who had already been driven into deep and widespread poverty. Viewing the announcement as a clear sign of the regime’s self-interest and disregard for its people’s essential needs, citizens of nearly 200 cities and towns took to the streets to once again call for the removal of the existing government in its entirety.

The November 2019 uprising lasted for several days before its participants scattered in the face of incessant gunfire from security forces and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Amnesty International issued a report in the wake of the unrest that confirmed that the IRGC had been shooting to kill. A later report noted that months of torture had awaited many of the thousands of arrested individuals during the uprising.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) collected official records and eyewitness reports from the frontlines of the protest and determined that over 1,500 peaceful activists and innocent bystanders had been killed in mass shooting incidents around the country. The same findings revealed that at least 12,000 arrests were carried out during the uprising, making it all but certain that the death toll would grow as activists were subjected to torture, denied medical treatment, and tried for vaguely defined capital offenses.

This section of the NCRI website provides news and articles about ongoing protests in Iran and the prospect of future uprisings.