Broadcast date: Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Violent protests continue in Iran – sparked by the arrest and death three days later of a young woman accused of not covering her face properly.
Mahsa Amini, 22, was arrested in Tehran on September 13e. Since his death, there have been demonstrations and protests across the country.
The BBC reports that 76 people were killed as police cracked down. State media in Iran says 41 people have died.
State media called the protesters “hypocrites, rioters, thugs and seditionists”, while state television said police clashed with “rioters” in some cities.
What is driving the protests and will they change anything in Iran?
Wednesday Smart talk, Dr. Mehdi Noorbaksh, Professor of International Affairs and Information Systems Business, Engineering and Management, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology and Vice Chairman of the Harrisburg Global Affairs Council, explained what the protests were all about, “The accumulated demands are not about the hijab, it’s not, you know, covering it’s freedom. The 1979 Iranian revolution took place to end the rule of a one man. And to usher in the new era, in Iranian politics, for participatory politics, for the democrats, do you know politics? And this group of clerics, they were dominating the politics of Iran. And little by little , they expel everyone. They dominated the government. They do not know how to govern like the Taliban, like many others. They do not know the art of governing. And they have been in Iran for 40 years. And the current situation is such that I can say that this government, for the majority of the people, has no legitimacy. And that just in these demonstrations in all the cities of Iran, all are fighting to call for the end of the dictatorship and, of course, the beginning of democracy and freedom inside Iran.
Noorbaksh added that these protests are different in Iran: “The level of repression compared to others is not comparable. The government cannot suppress this demonstration and these protests very easily as we have seen in the previous ones. In two or three days, they could conclude. But this time they can’t because every segment of the population is involved, religious scholars, non-religious scholars, all are involved in these protests.