The Iranian Regime: A Growing Crisis


An Introduction to the Troubling Iranian Regime

Iran has always had problems concerning equality. From discrimination against ethnic groups, religious minorities, the queer community, to the marginalized group at the center of a recently talked about issue – women. 

For years, Iranian women have protested against the discrimination they face daily. Prejudice within employment, marriage, education, divorce, and sexual and reproductive health remain unresolved. However, within the last month, morality police have been cracking down on women for violating strict dress code rules.

These modesty rules prevent Iranian women from having freedom in the way they choose to present and dress. The punishment for violating these rules is detainment at a re-education center, where women are taught modesty policies before being released

Many events have occurred over the past month in Iran concerning women’s rights and social justice. As more and more information comes out about these protests, it is becoming increasingly difficult to comprehend it all. Following is a brief explanation of the most notable events that have taken place over the last month in various parts of Iran.

September 16, 2022 – The Catalyst of a Revolution

In September, protests sparked after the alleged murder of Masha Amini, a 22-year-old who was detained by morality police after she supposedly violated the country’s strict head-covering laws. Police reported that her death was the result of an underlying illness known as Hypoxia, which caused her to have a heart attack. Her family denies that she was ill, claiming that the police fatally beat Masha. 

Following the news of Masha’s death, protests began outside of Kasra Hospital in Tehran, where Masha was taken. Large groups of people gathered and conducted chants criticizing the Iranian regime and in protest of Masha Amini’s death.

September 20, 2022 – Teenager Killed During Protests

 Unfortunately, Another incident took place involving 16-year-old Nika Shakarami, a young teen who joined the protests against the Iranian government. Nika had mysteriously gone missing during a rally held in Tehran. Her family was notified of her death more than a week after her passing. 

According to authorities, Nika Shakarami had passed away during the protest, with examinations of the body at the Tehran homicide office showing no bullet wounds found on the body, with evidence pointing towards Nika falling from a tall height. She was found with “multiple fractures… in the pelvis, head, upper and lower limbs, arms and legs”. This information comes from a Tehran judiciary that spoke to the media. However, conflicting information has come from a death certificate, with the cause of death being listed as “repeated blows by a blunt object” on the certification. Nasrin Shakarami, Nika’s mother, confirmed this claim in an interview with Radio Farda, stating that her daughter was struck multiple times in the skull. Additionally, Nasrin and the rest of the Shakarami family have been allegedly harassed by Iranian authorities to lie about the cause of Nika’s death to media and news outlets.

September 23, 2022 – Another Teenage Casualty at the Hands of Authorities

During another protest held in Karaj, 16-year-old Sarina Esmailzadeh was beaten to death by security forces. The Chief justice of Alborz province told ISNA that investigations proved her death was not the fault of the security forces. He instead asserted that evidence pointed towards death by suicide. 

Authorities have denied their role in the death of all three women. Many Iranian citizens and others around the globe remain skeptical, continuing to fight for all three women who have lost their lives at the hands of the corrupt Iranian regime. 

September 28, 2022- Attack on Kurdish in Iraq

After showing support for the protests, Kurdish-Iranian opposition parties in Iraq were victims of missile and drone attacks by Iranian authorities. According to the Japan Times, these attacks left 13 dead and 58 people injured, many of the wounded being innocent civilians. An estimated number of over 70 missile and drone strikes ensued after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps accused these groups of crossing the border to trigger riots and create chaos.

September 30, 2022- Bloody Friday

On the last Friday of September, Friday prayer took place outside the Great Mosalla prayer complex in Zahedan, Iran. Worshippers emerged from the complex and were met with security forces. The worshipers had decided to protest by shouting at the officers, some throwing small rocks toward the authorities.  

Fed up, security began to release open gunfire into the crowd, with many running back towards the complex holding many who were still in the midst of prayer. Authorities continued to fire at all citizens, even opening fire on those still praying. 28-year-old Jamshid told the New York Times, “It was a massacre I had only seen in movies”. Jamshid had been a worshiper at the complex on the 30th. According to him, “People had nowhere to go.”

The deadly left 66- 96 people killed in accordance with many Iranian human rights groups, one being Amnesty International.

Witnesses and social activists told the New York Times that forces had indeed taken indiscriminately fire on unarmed worshippers and citizens. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps validated the statements about their workforce being in Zahedan but denied their part in the deaths of innocent civilians.

October 15, 2022- Evin Prison Fire

On Saturday the 15th, Evin prison, the infamous detention center in Tehran, broke into flames. At least four prisoners perished, and 61 people were injured. Sources inside the detention center have told BBC Persian that there were more casualties than the reported four.

Mohsen Mansouri, the Governor of Tehran province, told the media that the fire started after a fight between prisoners began in the sewing workshop. NPR has shared that the altercation provoked prisoners to set the detention centers’ uniforms on fire. 

Ali Salehi, a Tehran prosecutor, announced that the fire was not associated with the ongoing demonstrations. This information comes from IRNA. In contrast, BBC has reported on a handful of journalists who took to the internet. These journalists claimed the fires were intentionally conducted by authorities.

BBC News’ Twitter account shared a video of protesters shouting chants such as “death to the dictator,” while watching the building burn. In other videos circling Twitter, explosions and gunshots are heard going off amongst the chaos.

The Evin prison was notorious for housing political prisoners and violating human rights laws

“The Beginning of the End”

Following the nationwide uprising, many have speculated that the downfall of the Iranian regime is not far. An associate professor at the London School of Economics, Roham Alvandi, shared his opinions with CNN. “This is an uprising demanding the end of the Islamic Republic. And that is something completely different to what we’ve seen before.”

Unfortunately, there is no single way to encompass the events happening all over Iran and the world in one single article. Protests will continue, more news will come out, and security forces in Iran will continue to silence those fighting for change.

In the meantime, there are ways you can help Iran fight for change. There are plenty of foundations and resources available if you feel the want to donate or learn more about the situation. 

At the end of the article, there is a small list of legitimate charities and organizations fighting for the rights of Iranian women and citizens.

I know some reading this may be unable to donate to these charities, which is more than understandable. There are still many other ways to amplify the voices of those fighting for change.

The future may seem uncertain, and it can be terrifying to not know what’s next. I encourage you to keep those affected in mind. I implore you to remember those who have lost their lives fighting for a better future.

Helpful Websites and Charity links: