Adnan Tabatabai Profile picture
Dec 29, 2017 10 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
A thread with some thoughts on current cycle of protests in #Iran! (1/10)
The protests are driven by socioeconomic grievances, not political aspiration. One should do the protesters justice by not reading anything bigger into them – at least, not for now. (2/10)
Street protests are not really new under Rouhani’s presidency. Peaceful sit-ins, strikes & gatherings in front of ministries & state institutions have happened regularly in various parts of the country, as people continue to have unresolved/unaddressed economic grievances. (3/10)
No government in #Iran ever has taken demands of the socially weak seriously or beyond populist talk & policies. Social injustice has never been resolved, and its main root causes (corruption & patronage) remain rife. (4/10)
#Rouhani’s voter base in 2017 was to a big part composed of economically motivated voters who believe he is more capable of improving their living conditions compared to his main competitor #Raeisi. (5/10)
But main socioeconomic issues - namely unemployment, underemployment (of youth & women), low purchasing power of ordinary citizens, slow economic recovery post-#JCPOA - continue being key challenges to #Rouhani administration. (6/10)
#Rouhani’s opponents – particularly from hardline Principlist camp – capitalize on discontent among people and appear to instigate protests. But they too fall short of offering tangible alternatives/solutions to the people’s demands. (7/10)
The #Rouhani administration must not dismiss protests as being staged/provoked by its rival factions. It has to finally develop a formula to address issues like high food prices, low purchasing power etc. (8/10)
In order to allow these protests to remain a healthy process of inner-#Iranian politics, external observers should refrain from turning these protests into what they are not – a bigger movement to shake and change the political order of #Iran. (9/10)
This is certainly not the beginning of a revolutionary movement. But the #Rouhani government and #Iran’s entire political elite must finally take socioeconomic grievances of ordinary #Iran|ians seriously and adress them properly. (10/10)

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More from @A_Tabatabai

May 22, 2018
(1) In my latest, I discuss how #Europe could be able to keep #Iran in the deal, and the #JCPOA alive.…
(2) #Europe must reject notion pushed by #Washington and its allies that being pro-JCPOA means being pro-Iran. Also, #Europe must reject narrative suggesting it puts wedge in transatlantic relations by trying to safeguard JCPOA.
(3) #Iran can be kept in the deal if its economic, political and security dividend makes it conclude it’s better off with the deal. While economic dividend is part of #JCPOA terms, and the other two aren’t, they will play a role in current situation.
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