Iran regime opponents rally across Europe

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However, observations that most of the protesters come from small to medium-sized towns and are not part of an urban elite could make it harder for the establishment to justify a violent crackdown as it counts people living in rural areas as part of its traditional support base.The protests also pose a challenge to supporters of the reformist camp as a major political upset that threatens President Rouhani's power could erode gains made at the ballot box in the last couple of years.Many observers remain skeptical as to whether the protests can bring real change. They are hungry for food & for freedom. A least one police officer was killed.

The rallies, scheduled weeks earlier, commemorated a mass 2009 pro-government rally challenging those who rejected the re-election of hard-line president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad amid fraud allegations. In contrast to the demonstrations that became known as the Green Movement, the protests today appear leaderless and are according to some reports drawing more participants from lower-income classes than in 2009. Twelve people have been killed in demonstrations, with 10 of the deaths inflicted amid intensifying clashes on Sunday night.

Analysts have suggested hardliners in Mashhad organized the protests against their rival Rouhani, but that the protests then unexpectedly spread into a backlash against the entire regime.

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Despite a billion dollars released to Iran by the United States, inflation is worsening and unemployment remains high among young people. A recent increase in egg and poultry prices by as much as 40 percent, which a government spokesman blamed on a cull over avian-flu fears, appears to have been the spark for the economic protests.

The Iranian protests have spilled beyond the borders as hundreds demonstrate in front of the Islamic republic's embassy's across Europe.

Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime's corruption & its squandering of the nation's wealth to fund terrorism overseas. The world is watching!

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At the same time, the Trump administration acknowledged the speed and breadth of the protests took both it and the Iranian government by surprise.

They also denounced Iran's theocratic leaders: "The people are begging".

THE FACTS: While the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover and hostage crisis colors Americans' thoughts on Iran, perhaps no event more affects Iranian beliefs about the U.S. than the 1953 coup.

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Washington must continue to drive up the long-term political, economic, and military costs of Iran's military interventions in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. But the protests might soon be quelled, dissolve into competing camps led by rival leaders, or be hijacked by hostile anti-Western forces, as numerous Arab Spring revolts were hijacked.

"It is better for him to try to address the U.S. internal issues like the murder of scores killed on a daily basis in the United States during armed clashes and shootings, as well as millions of the homeless and hungry people in the country", Ghasemi said, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.

In October, Trump declined to certify to Congress that staying in the nuclear deal was in America's interest even though the International Atomic Energy Agency repeatedly has said that Iran has complied with the agreement.

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James Phillips is the senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs at the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

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