On Friday, the Iranian regime announced gasoline prices would jump 50 percent, and in some cases 300 percent, a decree that immediately sent protesters flooding the streets in more than 100 cities across the country.
Iran is already cracking down violently on the protests. At least 200 are dead and the government admits to arresting 1,000 others. On Saturday, the government also cut off internet access for the Iranian people.
Massive protests in Iran are not new. We saw the Green Revolution a decade ago in response to fraudulent elections. Huge demonstrations also erupted nearly two years ago, spurred by the public’s increasing frustration with a government increasingly seen as corrupt and using the money it does have for priorities that have nothing to do with the good of the people.
But will these protests have a different outcome? What is needed to force the ayatollahs and the political leaders to make significant change or relinquish power? What role do the United States and the United Nations need to play? And can Iranian demonstrators count on the UN to put pressure on Iranian leaders?
We discuss this and much more with Alireza Jafarzadeh, deputy director of the Washington office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.