What did cause protests in Iran?

By Vestnik Kavkaza
What did cause protests in Iran?

The protests in Iran, which took place in the end of last year and beginning of this year, have ceased to be headlines in the international media, but the causes have remained largely unclear. Recently, the former Iranian Ambassador to Russia Seyed Mahmoud-Reza Sajjadi explained the situation in his post on Facebook. According to Sajjadi, in recent years, as a result of the previous government's work, a large amount of cash has been accumulated in the hands of people - that is why a significant number of investment and other companies/ bunking funds have become active in the private sector.

These organizations pledged to pay investors income of up to 25% per annum, as they wanted to attract more customers. But, since the investment activity of some of them could not bring such a high income, they failed to keep their promises.

Thousands of people, seeing that the funds they invested were in danger, were extremely alarmed and started to hold demonstrations in front of the headquarters of these private companies, as well as before government agencies, to show their discontent.

Among the reasons for this situation, Reza Sajjadi cited not only the insufficient control of the Central Bank over such organizations and the inadequate activity of the judiciary, which lacked the determination to oppose violators and directors of such investment organizations, but also the support provided by the United States to economic criminals and company managers who stole Iranian money and fled to the West. According to the former ambassador, another reason was the harsh unilateral economic and banking sanctions of the US against Iranian financial resources and projects.

In short, the protesters simply wanted to return their money, and their demonstrations did not pursue any political goals. The fact that the rallies turned into riots, according to Sajjadi, is a conspiracy against the Islamic Republic for the purpose of coercive regime change. And not the first conspiracy.

The chairman of the State Duma Committee for Development of the Civil Society and the Issues of Public and Religious Associations, Sergei Gavrilov, shares a similar opinion: "In many respects, these protests were of a regional nature, but one must understand that part of these protests, especially those with provocative slogans was a consequence of the influence of foreign policy opponents, the Gulf countries and the United States, which believe that they can destabilize the situation through Iran's highly developed information structure, which has been practically unlimited before, as they did in other countries. Following the model of Libya, for example."

According to Sergei Gavrilov, as a result of the sanctions imposed in 2006, Iran's economy and social sphere has experienced a severe crisis: "A decline in production and a rial devaluation occurred several years ago. Last year, there was a double-digit inflation rate. And youth has suffered the most. Virtually all forms of birth control have been abolished. Moreover, the growth of fertility is welcomed. Much part of Iran's working population is young people. Moreover, it is educated or highly educated youth, because Iran has created an advanced education system in recent years. "

Among the reasons for the situation, the deputy also cited a complex crisis cycle, universal access to information services, the Internet and a high unemployment rate - up to 30%.

"In the conditions when the budget of the republic is forced to decline, especially in social spheres, this cannot but lead to resentment in this part of the population. After the Islamic revolution, a huge system of benefits was adopted - for mothers, invalids, widows of deceased fighters. In many respects these privileges are being limited. It is a cause for dissatisfaction. But the majority of the Islamic Republic's population understands the objective nature of the crisis - sanctions, the complexity of attracting investments, a rather outdated infrastructure, labor immigration from the country. In this regard, therefore, the Iranian leadership is facing difficult tasks," Gavrilov said.