Mohammad Sadat Khansari
The people of Iran have been protesting against the regime since the end of last year. The momentum of protests and anti-government demonstrations have been maintained and the people are calling for regime change. It is very clear by now, almost four decades later, that the clerical regime in Iran is completely incapable of reform; not least because its survival depends on a continuance of its destructive policies.
The Iranian regime knows that the long-suffering people of Iran will not relent until they have achieved freedom, human rights and democracy. The people will certainly be the force behind the regime’s eventual collapse.
It is reacting in the only way it knows how. That is to say with further campaigns of repression and suppression. It is threatening protesters with arrest and even the death penalty. However, this is not deterring the people from taking to the streets. In fact, it is making them even more determined to make their voice heard.
Truck drivers have been striking for three weeks because of grievances related to their working conditions. There was also a call for teachers to strike and many participated earlier this week. They are protesting their poor employment conditions and their standard of living. More than half of the teachers in the country are living in poverty.
They are also protesting against the Iranian regime’s denial of the right to education for everyone. Many young people cannot attend school because of the rising cost of essentials such as books, stationary and other supplies.
As well as the intense domestic pressure that the regime is being put under, the Iranian regime is also experiencing international pressure, mainly from the United States. Before even taking office, President Donald Trump was very aware and outspoken about Iran’s malign influence and the particularly bad 2015 Iran nuclear deal that he described as the “worst”.
Trump exited the nuclear deal earlier this year despite being urged by numerous other world leaders to remain party to it. He was very clear on his reasons for leaving, pointing out that the world is not a safer place with the deal intact because it does nothing but guarantee a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
He announced that crippling economic sanctions would be re-imposed and the U.S. State Department said that it wants foreign countries to reduce its imports of Iranian oil to zero in an effort to cut the Iranian regime off from some of the funds that are used to finance terrorism.
Earlier this week, Brian Hook, the State Department’s policy planning chief, said that the U.S. is taking efforts to ensure that there are minimal disruptions to the global market. He said that the State Department believes that there is enough global spare oil production capacity to cover the deficit. He said: “We have been clear with countries and companies around the world that we are bringing severe economic pressure on Iran until the regime changes its destabilizing policies.”