Brutal crackdown on protests in Iran

A drastic increase in the price of petrol has led to mass protests in Iran. Now the regime has cracked down on the demonstrators, with reports of more than 100 deaths and 180 leaders - referred to by the government as "mercenaries" of foreign countries - now facing draconian punishment. What are the real reasons for the people's anger - and how should Europe react?

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Le Monde (FR) /

Europe must seek dialogue

The West must stop isolating Iran if it wants to counter the argument that the protesters are all "foreign mercenaries", Le Monde insists:

“The ferocious repression of the anti-government protest movements marks a turning point in the history of the Islamic Republic. ... Instead of fuelling confrontation and hence confirming the beleaguered castle-rhetoric of the most radical members of the regime, as Washington is doing, Europe must unite and seek the resumption of lucid dialogue. The Iranian population suffers from both repression and poverty. To help them, rather than isolating the country we should do all we can to make known around the world the underlying reasons for the ongoing revolt, so as to avoid a new bloodbath.”

Karar (TR) /

Most of the population is poor and oppressed

A oppressive system in which large sections of the population live in poverty is the reason behind the protests, says Karar:

“The average Iranian would perhaps put up with oppression if he had no financial problems, or with financial problems if there were no oppression. But oppression and financial problems together can make the bomb explode. And speaking of financial problems: the Iranian government said it would distribute the extra revenues from the gas price hike that led to the nationwide protests among 18 million poor families. Once again: 18 MILLION POOR FAMILIES. Iran has a population of 82 million. If families consist of three people on average, we're talking about 54 million people, or almost two-thirds of the population. A catastrophe.”

Club Z (BG) /

Iranians have had enough of Khamenei's clichés

The fact that the religious leadership is once again trying to blame the US and other countries for the domestic political problems is getting on the Iranian people's nerves, says Club Z:

“The Iranians and the whole world are sick and tired of the regime's habitual and stereotypical hostilities towards alleged foreign agents and enemies. As with the protests of 2017 and early 2018, people are protesting against Tehran's failed economic policy, inflation and unemployment. ... The regime made the same stereotypical statements during the 2009 Green Revolution, in which the Iranians protested against the fake presidential election and the interference of the Supreme Leader in favour of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.”