Iran: A New Strategy for the Protest Movement

DrThe calculation didn’t work, so the face change followed. “I did not say that we no longer have a deputy team. The new unit is called the Moral Security Police,” Ansiya Khazali, the representative of the women’s government, told students at Tehran’s Sharif University. Only on Sunday, the evening before the latest wave of strikes, did the Iranian leadership announce that it would be disbanded. The Arts Squad It seems that there was an attempt to get the wind out of the sails of the protests, but the advertisement faded away.

For weeks now, there is a rapidly increasing number of women in big cities who don’t wear the hijab. In order to avoid the danger of defeat in the Kulturkampf over the veil, the cleric Hossein Jalali, a member of the Cultural Committee of the Iranian parliament, warned that the veil “will return to women’s hair within two weeks.” First, a woman who violates this must be warned with an SMS. If it happens again, your bank card will be blocked. According to Iranian media, police officers are once again arresting more and more women who violate the unchanged veiling requirement.

But the contradictory statements of the past few days may not just be signs of rapid changes – there is much to suggest that they also reflect disagreements within the Iranian leadership. While conservative clerics insist that women’s hair be veiled, those pushing for an end to the protests want to at least ease the veil requirement. It is noteworthy that the Revolutionary Guards are backing away from this issue. This is an indication that the protests, which have lasted 11 weeks, are slowly driving a wedge in the hitherto symbiotic relationship between the Shiite clergy and the Revolutionary Guards.

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Jalali also responded to the change in strategy by threatening to withhold bank cards for women protest movement. She is no longer looking for conflicts with the police on the street and is now concentrating on strikes. It happens in large companies and in universities, while merchants and entire bazaars remain closed. Financial transactions should also not be processed through banks in order to weaken the system. The strategy seems to work. More people took part in the three-day strike this week than in the last strike two weeks ago. In more than 70 cities, shops have remained mostly or completely closed. The regime responded by closing shops or marking them with spray cans. Business owners face severe penalties.

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