It has been slightly more than a week since the U.S., under the presidency of Donald Trump, re-imposed sanctions on Iran on grounds that the country has not met the demanded criteria over nuclear weapons. While the U.S. believes that the sanctions are crucial for maintaining peace in the world, Iran and most of its people think this was another move to curb the country's actual power.
Another project, foreseen by the U.S. could be that these sanctions would trigger more protests against the Iranian regime within Iran, resulting in a revolution attempt. In the beginning of last summer, Iran was shook with countrywide protests due to the worsening economic situation. It seemed like the upcoming U.S. sanctions had turned the anger toward the regime and its regional policies, especially its involvement in the Syrian war and Palestinian affairs. Protesters were dispersed by the police each time they assembled. Social media accounts were active for organizing people, resembling those during the Arab Spring.
In the Western media some titles were seen referring to an Iranian "spring" while certain U.S. and Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, declared that they had to support these protesters. In the light of this, it seems likely that the U.S. had been aiming to terrify the already-impoverished Iranian people to hold their government responsible for what has been taking place. However, apparently it has not worked up to now.
Last week Iranian cities, again, witnessed mass protests as thousands of citizens took to the streets. Yet, this time, in fact as usual in Iran, the target was the U.S. and its main ally Israel, as the protesters believed these sanctions are unfair.
Moreover, the date of the sanctions, and therefore of the protests chanced upon the anniversary of the 1979-dated raid of the U.S. embassy by Iranian students. The tone of the protests was even darker. Slogans for a brighter, democratic Iran were replaced with strong commitments to the regime and again Israeli and American flags were set on fire. It is very probable that ordinary Iranians who are longing for a peaceful Iran were locked in their homes, watching the incidents worriedly.
Halil Kürşad Aslan, a professor at Istanbul Medipol University said in an interview that the U.S. "aims to bring Iran to its knees in their production, finance and security fields. Through targeting not only oil and natural gas production but also automobile, transportation and insurance sectors creating a gap between the Iranian people and the regime is the intention."
Similarly, another researcher at Istanbul Medipol University Hülya Özkan stated that "the sanctions, imposed by the U.S. will affect the Iranian people more than anybody else. People in big cities like Tehran and Isfahan feel insecure while religious Shiites, in smaller cities, are becoming angrier with the U.S. It is clear in the media that both conservatives and reformists are criticizing the U.S. heavily."
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