‘While the government chants, “Death to Israel,” Iranian protestors are yelling, ‘Forget about Palestine, forget about Gaza, think about us!’
Protestors filled the streets of Iran for multiple days last week demanding their government stop funding terrorists and improve conditions inside Iran. That country’s economy is nearing collapse as a result of sanctions reinstated when the Trump administration prompted withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.
Iranians have had enough.
Repeat of the Islamic Revolution of 1979?
“Two years before the Islamic Revolution, I lived in Iran,” Professor David Menashri of Tel Aviv University told The Jerusalem Post. “I saw what was bothering the Iranian people. The country was rich, and the people were poor. And it’s repeating now.”
As founding director of the university’s Alliance Center for Iranian Studies, Menashri is a leading expert on Iran. He spoke to The Post about the similarity he sees between current protests and Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. That revolution replaced the 2,500-year reign of the Persian monarchy. The current Islamic Republic is led by the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
The previous revolution began with merchants taking to the streets to protest economic conditions and grew to include political reforms and the Shah’s overthrow. Menashri believes those conditions are recurring now.
In 1979, “It was a revolution for bread and liberty, welfare and freedom,” Menashri said. “Forty years later, there is no greater liberty or more freedom in Iran than there was under the Shah – which was no democracy.”
Under the Shah, he said, “To act or speak against the government was a crime; today it is a sin.”
Risking death, today's protesters chant, “Death to Khamenei.”
Impact of a New Iranian Revolution on Israel
The nuclear deal of 2015 lifted harsh economic sanctions and filled the Iranian government’s coffers with millions in U.S. currency. Iranians expected the cash influx to benefit them by fixing the country’s infrastructure. Instead, Iran has used its wealth to fund terrorism and to entrench itself inside Syria to set up attacks against Israel.
Iran’s goal is to develop a weapons pathway, with the ultimate hope of destroying Israel within the next 25 years, according to British daily newspaper, The Telegraph.
The singular focus of eliminating Israel has accelerated the decline of conditions inside Iran. Even before the U.S. pulled out of the nuclear deal and the Iranian currency plunged to a valuation of 90,000 rial to every U.S. dollar last week, unemployment was at record levels. The situation is exacerbated by mismanagement of the worst drought in 50 years. Water is scarce for both drinking and agriculture in Iran. Farmers can’t raise enough food. Merchants now have little access to much-needed foreign currency.
Gholamreza Jalali, the head of Iran’s Passive Defense Organization, accused Israel of “cloud-stealing” and “snow-stealing” earlier this week. But average Iranians want their government to focus on their problems rather than work to eliminate a nation with which they have no quarrel.
While observers question if the Iranian people could overthrow their oppressive and anti-Israel government, Menashri doubts it will happen soon.
“It is possible that one of these cycles will expand and lead to that,” he toldThe Jerusalem Post. “Ultimately, it will happen. The ground is ready, the displeasure is deep. But to come out with a larger movement, you need the intelligentsia and the underprivileged joining a movement together, as it was during the Islamic Revolution.”
Since 1979, Iran’s population has grown from 38 million to 80 million people. “To deal with the economic problems of a country the size of Iran today is much more difficult … it requires a significant change in the priorities of the government – and to focus inside the country, rather than on policies of projecting power beyond the borders,” Menashri said.
Please join us in praying that:
God’s intervention in Iran will provide needed stability for the Iranian people to thrive rather than suffer
The death curses spoken against America and Israel by the Iranian government will be replaced with blessings for their own people
- God will protect Israel residents and young people in the Israeli military, as Iran continues its aggression against the State of Israel.