Iran is seeing the biggest outbreak of antigovernment protests in nearly a decade, with two protesters reported killed Sunday and scores arrested in cities nationwide.
Demonstrators are voicing frustration over the economy and calling for the resignation of President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a stunning show of defiance in a country where public dissent is dealt with harshly.
Los Angeles Times foreign correspondent Shashank Bengali traveled to Iran in August and found simmering anger with the theocracy and outright desperation among a middle class suffering from years of international economic sanctions.
"Imam Khomeini said clergymen should lead a simple life," one mullah said. "If you drive a car, it should be a common car. But some clergy and politicians live a luxurious life." (3/8)— Shashank Bengali (@SBengali) December 30, 2017
A sign that the regime has not persuaded young Iranians to continue along the revolutionary path. One draftee said, "I hate the service and I hate my surroundings. I don't feel any patriotism in my heart." (5/8)— Shashank Bengali (@SBengali) December 30, 2017
We saw new ads go up overnight: Construction workers, shopkeepers, people with once stable careers who now hoped to part with an organ to pay off debts and support families (7/8)— Shashank Bengali (@SBengali) December 30, 2017
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