Making sense of the protests in Iran

Tehran at night. By Hamed Saber (CC, Flickr).

To find out what the protests in Iran are all about, and how Americans can get unfiltered information about them, WMNF News spoke with Abbas Barzegar, an assistant professor of religion at Georgia State University; he wrote analysis for The Guardian from inside Iran during the 2009 Green Movement demonstrations.


The Trump administration is calling on Iran’s government to stop blocking Instagram and other popular social media sites as Iranians are demonstrating in the streets for a sixth straight day. The U.S. Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein says the United States wants Iran to “open these sites.”

The Associated Press spoke to Iranians in Tehran today and residents of the increasingly tense capital say they sympathize with the protesters’ economic grievances and anger at official corruption. At least 21 people have been killed and hundreds arrested.

Iran’s supreme leader blamed the protests roiling the country on “enemies of Iran” who he said were meddling in its internal affairs.

France is expressing concern over the “number of victims and arrests” in the protests. Today the Foreign Ministry said “the right to protest freely is a fundamental right.” It says human rights will be a top priority in France’s discussions with Iranian authorities in the coming weeks.

A spokesperson says the U.N. was “evaluating the situation and trying to see what contacts would be most helpful.” He says the world body hopes further violence will be avoided and expects Iranians’ right to peaceful assembly and expression to be respected.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report


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