Anti-Iranian government protests continued for the third straight day as men, women, and even children take to the streets against the theocratic state's leaders. Women are abandoning Islamic dress code, the youth are chanting "the students would rather die than bow to power," and public displays of the Supreme Ayatollah are being torn down in defiance of the government.
These protests were sparked by economic unrest, but the people of Iran have quickly capitalized on anti-establishment resentment and are challenging the government as a whole. These are the largest demonstrations against the government since 2009. However, earlier in the year President Donald J. Trump boldly told the United Nations that Iran's oppressive regime would soon end due to an uprising from the people. In fact, he even went so far as to say that aside from the United States military, Iran's leaders fear their people more than anything.
Currently, Hadi Nili, a BBC reporter, has done an excellent job compiling videos from various Iranian cities highlighting the throngs of thousands of people joining the movement against their own government.
Indeed, these video's highlight the will of the Iranian people and earnest desire for change. As noted by Foreign Policy in September, President Trump condemned the Iranian government before the UN in unprecedented terms as a regime that “masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of democracy.” It “has turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state” whose “longest-suffering victims … are, in fact, its own people.” Rather than using Iran’s vast oil profits to “improve Iranian lives,” the regime wastes this wealth — “which rightly belongs to the Iranian people” — on foreign adventures, from “fund[ing] Hezbollah and other terrorists that kill innocent Muslims” to “shor[ing] up Bashar al-Assad’s criminal dictatorship, fuel[ing] Yemen’s civil war, and undermin[ing] peace throughout the Middle East.”
Furthermore, Foreign Policy reported that President Trump concluded in his speech that “the good people of Iran want change” and that “Iran’s people are what their leaders fear the most.” That is why the mullahs “restrict internet access, tear down satellite dishes, shoot unarmed student protesters, and imprison political reformers.” Trump finished with the provocative prediction that “oppressive regimes cannot endure forever” and that the day will come when Iran’s people face a choice: “To continue down the path of poverty, bloodshed and terror” or “return to the nation’s proud roots as a center of civilization, culture and wealth where their people can be happy and prosperous once again?”
Iran's "path of poverty" and "corrupt dictatorship" has resulted in the current nationwide calls for reform and historic displays of civil disobedience by Iranian citizens.