The Iranian regime added 50-300 percent to the cost of gasoline in November 2019 which fueled the people’s anger and in no time at all, they took to the streets to demonstrate against it.
From the morning of November 16th, people started to light fires in the streets, used their own vehicles to put up a barrage while closing highways and any other routes leading to Iran’s cities. The protests spread quickly to more than 190 cities throughout the country and turned into a nationwide rally against the regime.
Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook: “The @Reuters report on the massacre ordered by @khamenei_ir underscores the urgency for the international community to punish the perpetrators and isolate the regime for the murder of 1,500 Iranian citizens.” https://t.co/TpUncLjDcv
— Department of State (@StateDept) December 23, 2019
There were these constant demands that could be heard being called for:
- “Death to Khamenei,”
- “Death to the dictator”
- “Dictator, let go of the country,.”
Less than 2 years earlier, the Iranian people held other Iranian wide uprisings. One was at the end of December 2017 and another in early January 2018. At the time, oil exports were at a 10 year high, at more than 2.5 million barrels daily, while the regime was gaining billions of dollars in trade and oil revenue with other countries. As the regime’s wealth grew, the average Iranian was getting poorer.
The December 2017 demonstrations were a signal of the economic problems that Iranians were being subjected to while they could see how the wealth of the regime grew. Even though the regime tried to subdue the protests it didn’t stop the people’s anger and resentment. After more than 4 decades of corruption and suppression, that was enough.
Shiraz, Iran – Protesters set fire to vehicles belonging to #Iran's regime
— Donya Jam (@FreeeIran) November 16, 2019
The people targeted places controlled by the regime, such as:
- gas stations;
- governor’s offices;
- offices of Khamenei’s representatives;
- police stations;
- police trailers;
- supermarkets connected to the IRGC;
- the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and Basij paramilitary forces bases;
- vehicles & motorcycles of the security forces.
#PMOI/#MEK #Iran, One thing that has been appearing in the headlines Iran’s state-run newspapers is the explosive state of the society. Regime officials, leaders, and analysts are afraid of another round of nationwide anti-government protests looming on the horizon.#FreeIran2020 pic.twitter.com/3c4jjdhV35
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) October 5, 2020
Most of these incidences took place in the cities of Shahriar, Shahr-e Quds, Shiraz, Behbahan, Isfahan, and Tehran.
Shiraz had the most protests and clashes which by the second day of the action at least 120 Basij and police bases, military bases, the regime’s religious sites, gas stations, and banks were destroyed by locals. The people had taken control of many parts of Shiraz almost cutting off Shiraz to Tehran. Authorities commissioned helicopters to spray bullets on to the demonstrators so that the regime could gain control of the city.
Khamenei associated the uprising with the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), so ordered a total crackdown saying the (PMOI / MEK Iran) were simply thugs. Khamenei told top security and government officials, as stated by a Reuters report. “Do whatever it takes to end it,”
When Khamenei’s orders were given, this gave the security forces the chance to shoot demonstrators in the head and increase the casualty numbers to unleash fear among the protesters.
March 29—Shiraz, south-central #Iran
Authorities are stationing security units in streets throughout the city.
The regime cannot afford riots becoming the new norm throughout the country. pic.twitter.com/n9h0MmOOVb
— Heshmat Alavi (@HeshmatAlavi) March 29, 2020
On the day of the anniversary of the November 2019 protests, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said, “The November 2019 uprising was a manifestation of the burning determination that will continue to carry on until the mullahs’ religious dictatorship is overthrown.
This uprising will carry on until the regime is overthrown in its entirety… The clear and definitive conclusion of the developments of the past year since the November uprising is that there will be an irreversible and overpowering face-off between the Iranian society and religious fascism. From a political standpoint, this is the beginning of the destruction of the foundations of the regime by the Iranian people and ultimately uprooting it.”