Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have reached new heights and the Iranian people have again taken to the streets to protest their regime. The regime blames the American sanctions, but are the sanctions at the core of the protests?
Our infographic illustrates both the internal Iranian protests and the U.S. sanctions. It shows that whilst it is likely the sanctions have impacted the Iranian people, their grievances run deeper and are not only motivated by economic woes. The protests that started in April 2018 and January 2020 were not preceded by recent U.S. sanctions, aside from personal sanctions for Supreme Leader Khamenei’s inner circle. Yet the influence of the sanctions should not be disregarded, as can be seen from the starting date of the protests in 2017. Moreover, the sanctions likely influenced the longevity of the 2018-2019 demonstrations.
In conclusion, the internal Iranian protests are not only influenced by economic hardships brought on by American sanctions, but by a more varied palette of grievances.