Days of unprecedented protests aimed at Iran’s sluggish economy along with “biting” sanctions imposed by President Trump are ramping up pressure Tuesday on the Islamic Republic’s ruling class and causing many analysts to wonder if regime change could be on the horizon.
Videos circulating on social media purportedly taken from inside Iran show thousands of protesters marching through the streets. In one video, crowds leaving a soccer match are heard yelling “death to the dictator! Death to Khamenei! Death to Rouhani!” and “Islamic regime must get lost!” according to a translation tweeted by a Middle East analyst.
Another video said to be taken in Tehran shows idle buses lined up as far as the eye can see, with the same analyst reporting Iran’s government has refused to pay back its debts to a contractor that gives the drivers fuel, leaving them – and the thousands of Iranians they would have been transporting – stranded.
Breaking on #IranUpdate,
100 thousand of anti regime protestors who were watching the football match are leaving the stadium and all of them are chanting “death to the dictator, death to Khamenei, death to Rouhani, and Islamic regime must get lost.”#Iran#IranProtests pic.twitter.com/etNpc6VVwG
— Raman Ghavami (@Raman_Ghavami) August 3, 2018
“Look at our situation. We’ve been waiting for 24 hours,” a bus driver is reported to have said in another clip. “How dare the regime sends money to Hezbollah and Palestine when the country is in trouble. Our revolution’s aim wasn’t to support dirty [Hezbollah leader] Hassan Nasrallah and we can be oppressed here. Enough.”
A senior Trump administration official told Fox News the restored sanctions against Iran that went into effect at midnight are designed to constrict the revenue Iran uses to fund “terrorists, dictators, proxy militias, and the regime’s own cronies.”