On the cusp of the first anniversary of the November 2019 protests, Iranian officials and state-run media express their concerns about resuming nationwide demonstrations. For instance, in its October 27 edition, Resalat daily affiliated with the radical Motalafeh (coalition) party leaked its fears in a piece titled, “A word about November 2019.”
The daily points out that in November protests, known and trained individuals had participated in many hotspots. November 2019 paved the path for taking away Qassem Soleimani, the former commander of Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force.
“2019 was one of the most important landmarks of the post-Islamic Revolution era. The route of developments in Iran and the region expose that there were ominous plans for fundamental changes,” Resalat wrote.
“Set of pressures had turned 2019 into a special year. Gasoline price hikes were a spark on keg powder, which had previously been ready. Three-fold increase in the gasoline price and rationing it had consequences. However, retracting the decision would bring more dangerous results,” the daily added.
Then, Resalat continues that “Since while ago, organized groups were activated to use disappointment environment and potential protests. November 2019 paved the path for these persons to appear in the scene with weapons and military equipment.”
“The November sedition [a term used by state-run media to demonize popular protests] was not supposed to be extinguished. It was a start point for a chain of more expanded unrest and disrupting the country’s security, intelligence, and law enforcement apparatuses. It was launched to create instability and insecurity inside Iran.”
“Less than two months later, Qassem Soleimani was assassinated by the U.S. in January… It seems that adversaries are implementing parts of a new conspiracy in the near future. In this respect, in addition to being aware and countering domestic and foreign seditions, notifying public opinion over these movements should be considered,” Resalat concluded.
However, Resalat is not the only outlet to release their scare over the upcoming protests and society’s volatile conditions. “Reformist” figures are also deeply concerned about the people’s disappointment and complaints.
On the same day, in an interview with the “reformist” daily Etemad, Javad Imam reminded the November protests and their definite impacts on society. He sounded alarms about citizens’ outrage against the government’s mismanagement in different fields.
“Today, the pressures have been intensified in comparison to the pre-coronavirus era or even November 2019. Therefore, the scale of disappointment has increased,” he said.
Imam also mentioned the dire economic conditions. “Several people have lost their careers. Several employees experience sharp declines in their salaries. Meanwhile, we deal with rampant inflation, which increased disappointment,” he added.
The reformist expert also highlighted that the people no longer trust in “reformist officials” and counted President Hassan Rouhani’s failures. “On the other hand, the administration could not take a serious step about sanctions, budget deficits, and living pressures. It did even nothing in tax issue despite many merchants and employees yielded severe disadvantages.”
Imam also reminded the society’s volatile situation and the likelihood of new protests. “Salaries are not raised, but expenditures grew several times, and people must endure all these troubles. The likelihood of people’s reaction has increased,” he concluded.