Middle East

Voices from Iran: 'We have the right to protest'

Protesters are seen on streets in Alborz province, Iran, 31 December Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A video grab said to show protesters on the streets in Alborz province

Protests broke out last Thursday in Iran's eastern city of Mashhad, initially against price rises and corruption.

They have since spread to towns and cities across the country and now reflect wider anti-government sentiment.

A number of Iranians have been sending in voice messages, showing a wide range of responses to the current unrest.

Zahra, in an undisclosed Iranian location

We want reform, not revolution, so the people don't suffer anymore. We don't want to bring in leaders from outside of Iran and give them power as happened in 1979. We just want reform to stop all this misery.

Yaser, in Talesh

The Iranian people's demands have been put off too long. None of the authorities have allowed a platform for these demands to be heard. The protesters are decent, not saboteurs. Some have PhDs and Masters and spent 20 years studying, They're not saboteurs. They want jobs, an income and marriage. No protester deserves a bullet. When you shoot at a civilised protest, you should expect stones thrown back.

Tirdad, in Tehran

It's not only in Tehran, and in other Iranian cities, but also in any part of the world where people attack public buildings - police forces do their job to protect these areas. Because they're paid to do so. It's a fact. Some protesters even attacked a fire engine! If it happened anywhere else, the response would be the same.

Zahi, in an undisclosed Iranian location

When I saw [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu's message on Instagram, it gave me hope. Thanks a lot for supporting the oppressed. I expect the same from all other countries. This cruel regime is harsh on its own people. We shouldn't be under batons and bullets. This isn't our destiny. We have the right to protest and we ask other countries to support us.

Sanaz, in Ahvaz

We can't be patient anymore. I lost my money in a private credit company and we gathered and protested in front of government buildings but there wasn't a single authority that gave any answer. They laughed at us. They took our money and replied with sarcasm when we protested.

Arash, in Tehran

The repression caused by [Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei's appointed institutions has meant all the criticism and protests are being thrown back at the leader himself. The leaders say protests should be civilised but have they let any party other than the two main parties form?

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