What will the year 2023 hold for Iran's protest movement?
As it strives to strengthen its regional influence and control a failing economy, Iran is entering 2023 with ongoing demonstrations and tense relations with the West.
Despite some early forecasts that they would fade, the frequency of street protests in Iran has diminished recently. However, they have not disappeared, and they have also failed to topple the Islamic republic.
The protest movement has, if anything, shown itself to be tough. More than 100 days have passed since Mahsa Amini's death and the protests that followed her death, which were sparked by her allegedly breaking a strict dress code for women. Mahsa Amini was detained by morality police in September.
The protest movement has continued to ebb and flow despite a high death toll; human rights organizations with international branches estimate that more than 500 people have died throughout the upheaval. Both a severe government crackdown and the potential for additional executions—two people have already been put to death in instances connected to the protests.
What can we thus anticipate for 2023?
Iran is not on the verge of a regime change, but Sina Azodi, a non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank, claims that the protests have fundamentally altered the relationship between the government and the populace.
He said, "I think the protests will go on in some form or another since the Iranian government has failed to address the core cause of the unrest. "I don't think the scenario is sustainable since the government needs to employ the same amount of brutality to put an end to the protests if it doesn't occasionally address the population's complaints. At this time, it's not obvious if the government is interested in resolving citizens' complaints.
As a result of the protests, relations between Tehran and the West have significantly deteriorated. Human rights sanctions have been imposed by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand in response to what they have called a "brutal suppression" of protesters.
Majority votes were obtained for the establishment of a fact-finding mission to examine the response to the protests and the expulsion of Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women, two significant Western-led moves to punish Tehran at the UN.
Iran has responded by imposing its own sanctions on American and European officials and organizations and claiming that such nations lack the authority to denounce human rights abuses in Iran due to their own histories of transgressions.
The fact-finding trip has also been categorically rejected by the Iranian foreign ministry, which sees it as a "political weapon" and insists that Tehran is a champion of human rights.
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