Baghdad Post, January 02, 2018 - According to figures released by officials at least 15 people have been killed during the unrest that started in Mashhad, initially as a demonstration against massive corruption and grinding poverty. Protesters say Iran has failed on the economic front.
For the first time since the victory of the revolution in 1979, the protests have spread all around the country which is perhaps why it is more difficult for the regime to control or suppress the demonstrations as it brutally did in 2009, in what was dubbed as "The Green Movement".
Experts say that while the 2009 protests were mainly focused on capital city Tehran and a few other large cities, this time it has started and fast spreading in provinces and even remote towns.
Some social media users have mocked Iranian officials for blaming foreign governments for the unrest, saying that lots of Iranians even do not know in which province some of these towns are.
Iranian symbols are also being targeted by the demonstrators.
Several videos are making the rounds on social media showing angry people in the streets tearing down posters of Khamenei.
In at least one other video protesters tear down a poster of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force commander, General Qasem Soleimani. Tehran has been promoting Soleimani as something of a national hero who - according to Iranian officials - saved the country from falling into the hands of the "Takfiri terrorists" including ISIS.
In previous episodes of post-revolutionary protests in Iran, it was not so common for demonstrators to chant slogans against Khamenei. During the 2009 unrest, people were chanting "Death to the dictator", which was an indirect reference to Khamenei.
But during the past five days, videos show people openly chanting "Death to Khamenei" or "People are begging, the leader is acting like God" or "Seyyed Ali [Khamenei] don't fret, but it's time for you to leave".
President Hassan Rouhani warned on Monday that these protesters are going to be swept by "the nation".
It has not been long since 2009, and many still remember when former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called protesters "dirt and dust" which led to a strong backlash against him and the regime. He later apologized for his remarks. If protests continue in the coming days, Hassan Rouhani, might not find the chance to do the same.