Inside Story

What triggered Iran’s protests?

Anti-government demonstrations take place in cities across Iran, the biggest in nearly a decade.

“Death or Freedom”.

It’s a chant that was heard around Iran this week.

Protesters are angry at the high cost of basic goods. The price of eggs, for example, has gone up 40 percent in just six months.

Some Iranians say it is time for the government to focus on domestic issues, and to forget about Syria and Palestine.

These protesters hoped the Iran nuclear deal in 2015, which led to the lifting of many international sanctions, would ease their financial struggles. But life for many has not improved.

Government critics say the economic benefits have not been passed on because of mismanagement and alleged corruption.

And that this month’s budget will cut vital social welfare programmes while giving more money to religious and revolutionary institutions.

So how will the government deal with the people’s anger?

Presenter: Hashem Ahelbarra


Ali Fathollah-Nejad – visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center

Ghanbar Naderi – political Analyst and journalist for Kayhan International

Afshin Shahi – senior lecturer in Middle East Politics at the University of Bradford