Demonstrations in the past days indicate growing anger at the regime’s support for regional militant groups at expense of country’s troubled economy:
Protesters against the country’s tanking currency on Monday were heard shouting “Death to Palestine” amid nationwide anger over Iran increasingly troubled economy.
At a crossroads in central Tehran, police fired tear gas at dozens of youths shouting slogans and throwing rocks, eyewitnesses said, while traders in Theran’s Grand Bazaar held a rare protest strike.
The current protests in Tehran began at the capital’s sprawling Grand Bazaar, which has long been a center of conservatism in Iranian politics and where the ayatollahs’ 1979 Islamic Revolution first gathered pace. Protesters there forced storekeepers to close down their shops Monday.
Videos posted to social media showed protesters chanting: “Death to Palestine,” “No to Gaza, no to Lebanon” and “Leave Syria and think of us.” Chants of “We don’t want the ayatollahs” and “Death to the dictator” were also heard at some rallies.
The demonstrations indicate widespread anger at the regime for spending billions of dollars on regional wars and supporting militant groups, instead of investing it on the the struggling economy at home.
Israel Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman tweets a message in Persian to the citizens of Iran in an apparent attempt to stoke criticism of their government’s support for regional proxies at the expense of its own citizens.
“Citizens of Iran, where did your money go?” the message begins, according to a translation emailed by Liberman’s office.
Iran, he continues, “despite domestic economic difficulties, continues to invest billions in Syria, Hezbollah, [Palestinian] Islamic Jihad, the Houthis in Yemen and Shiite militias in Iraq.”