Lana Ravandi-Fadai: ‘There will be no Persian Winter’
As the Iranian experts said, the plight of the people in the Islamic Republic could really push Iranians to speak out against the government. One of the sources of protesters is the state institutions, where delays in wages became a natural thing, some people do not see the money that the state owes them for many months.
An increase in the tax on leaving the country could serve as a trigger. If before Iranians paid 75 thousand tomans ($ 21) for the first departure from the country per year, now the tax has been increased more than twice - up to 155 thousand tomans ($ 43.5). The second trip will cost 255 thousand tomans ($ 71.5), and the third - 355 tomans ($ 99.5). This clear attempt to solve the budget problems at the expense of citizens was imposed on a larger factor of discontent - the weak state support of Iranians who suffered the devastating earthquake last fall while maintaining financial assistance to Syria and Lebanon.
The Senior Researcher of the Center for Middle East Studies of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Lana Ravandi-Fadai, analyzed the possible reasons of the protests in a conversation with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza.
The expert drew attention to the fact that the protests have several dissimilar reasons, both internal and external. "Many in the country believe that demonstrations are primarily related to unemployment and the plight in Iran. The students holidays also made its contribution - a social group, which was always the most organized force for protests. There are others who talk about the western wake and the riots planned by the US. It should be noted that all the factors influence - both unemployment and the extremely low living standards of Iranians, the student factor and Western influence, " she said.
Lana Ravandi-Fadai explained the influence of Western forces in Iran. "I would not be surprised if the subversive activities of special foreign services turns out to be true. The fact is that many Iranians, almost half of them, have relatives in the US and Europe. Many of these relatives are educated in the US and then return to Iran. Any brainwashing and, in general, the West's influence on people who live there and return to the republic cannot be ruled out, although it would be an exaggeration to say that it was only Washington that organized all and raised them to protests. The attention is drawn to the fact that the protests are directed against Ali Khamenei (the conservative spiritual leader) and Hassan Ruhani (the reformist president) - it rather points to the work of the US agents," she said.
Iranian sources confirm that, first of all, demonstrations broke out in Mashhad and other religious cities of the country - Isfahan, Ahvaz, Kermanshah. People who went to the streets of Mashhad initially staged a protest against the sharp rise in food prices, but they were joined by opponents of the reformers who proclaimed political slogans against the government and Hasan Ruhani while expressing support for Ebrahim Raisi.
It is significant that the Iranians themselves, with whom Lana Ravani-Fadai had the opportunity to talk, assured her that they were waiting for an early end to the unrest. "What is happening in Iran, shows that not everything is so calm in the country, and I can not agree with the position that everything will be fine after that. The current events should be treated with all seriousness, because these cracks in the Iranian society can lead to the beginning of the loosening of something more fundamental, including the new negative processes in the region as a whole,’’ the expert concluded.