Iranians Rebel Against 40% Youth Unemployment and Rising Food Prices

The latest uprising is occurring in Iran where about 40% of the young are unemployed and staple products like eggs have gone up 40%, leading to demonstrations in December 2017. They began in Mashhad to protest recent price increases and spread to tens of thousands in multiple cities. The economic grievances expanded to calls against corruption and to oust Ayatollah Ali Khomeini and cries of “Death to Rouhani.” Crowds chanted “Forget Palestine” to focus on Iranian economic problems, as well as “Death or Freedom.” They also chanted, “Mullahs have some shame, leave the country alone.” President Hassan Rouhani responded that Iranians have the right to protest but not to do violence. The government shut down Instagram and the messaging app Telegraph. Hundreds were arrested and over a dozen people were killed as they tried to take over police stations and military bases. These are the biggest demonstrations since the 2009 protests over corruption in the presidential election. A difference is that they don’t have known leaders like presidential candidates who were spokesmen in 2009.

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