Image source: http://www.migrantvoice.org/img/2016/06/exlarge/By_Abi_Begum_referendum_card1.jpg
Since Thursday, December 28, 2017, Iran began to be hit by mass action, initially in the city of Mashad then spread to various major cities in Iran.
Until the 5th day, on January 1, 2018, the number of casualties on the mass has reached 20 people, plus 1 policeman. Protests have spread to more than 20 other cities, including the capital of Tehran.
The masses were also more daring, and began attacking government offices, burning vehicles and damaging public facilities. Most of the deaths occurred as the masses attempted to attack government buildings.
On December 31, 2017, Donald Trump twittered on his Twitter account: "Big protests in Iran." Looks like they will not take it any longer The USA is watching very closely for human rights violations !. "
Just hours after Trump's chirping, on December 31, 2017, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appeared on television and made it clear that expressing opinions was a constitutional right, but if the action was aimed at breaking the unity of the Iranian people, the government would take decisive action. Rouhani also criticized outside support as a signal to Donald Trump's support for the protests.
On January 1, 2018, the Iranian government also imposed a boycott of access to the Instagram and Telegram apps, in an effort to dampen the distribution of action dynamics through Medsos.
The Iranian security apparatus claimed to have arrested several activists, but did not explain the number of people arrested.
Firstly, mass action taking place in more than 20 cities in Iran and having killed 20 people until the fifth day, was the biggest protest in Iranian history since 1979.
Second, the Iranian government is actually capable and can hold a counter action with a larger mass. But if the counter action is held, will further increase the chances of friction between the mass pro and anti-government.
Third, one of the interesting points of the protests in Iran is because the action is done at night. It is not clear why the masses choose the night as a time of action. Possible due to security factor considerations.Fourth, the initial mass demands on poor economic conditions: high inflation, unemployment, high prices of basic needs. Also increased fuel prices and new tax enforcement. The masses also oppose Iran's policies in Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq and Syria, which is considered a waste.
Fifth, the Government of Iran does not seem to accuse the domestic side as a motor of action. Rouhani still accuses outside parties, especially the United States as a mass mobilizer. And so far, there has not been a prominent Iranian figure who supported the action openly.
Sixth, the Iranian Government also seems to be still trying to refrain from taking decisive action. But in general, until the 5th day all elements of the government is still quite solid. Even the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander insisted the situation was under control, and it was not yet time for the Revolutionary Guard to take over the security of action.
Seventh, most of the photos and action videos are leaked by action participants via social media. Major global and regional media do not seem to have access to adequate coverage. Even Aljazeera and Alarabiya stations have never aired live coverage on the ground by their own journalists and cameramen.
Eighth, until the fifth day of protests in Iran, Iran's supreme spiritual leader, Ali Khamenei, has not given an open statement. And almost all parties are waiting for what kind of reaction Ali Khamenei.
Ninth, still unpredictable trend and direction of protests against the Iranian government. Whether to continue escalating with high tension or will subside. But the Iranian government seems more likely to take decisive action, but still observes the power of mass action in various cities.
Syarifuddin Abdullah | 02 January 2018/15 Rabiul-tsani 1439H.