Listen to the Voices of Protest Within Iran
You have to feel for the Iranians taking to the streets. They are paying the price for living under despotic leaders with misguided ambitions fueled by false religion.
Despite political pledges to the contrary, poor economic conditions continue to deteriorate. Inflation is surging; unemployment is stubbornly high. In the city of Mashhad, where the protests began, 1 in 3 people lives in a slum. The Iranian regime—flush with cash thanks to the nuclear deal—recently introduced what it called “austerity measures,” causing eggs to jump 700 percent in price and bread to become a luxury. It was more than the people could swallow.
When Iranians elected Hassan Rouhani as president in 2013, they were eager for big changes he had promised: most notably, to solve the nation’s economic troubles and to work with the United States to defeat the Islamic State. “He planned to accomplish both goals by compromising with the U.S., trading Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and influence on the ground in Iraq and Syria for the removal of sanctions,” Geopolitical Futures wrote. Now, the Islamic State is defeated and the money is flowing again. On paper, the nation’s gross domestic product has grown since 2015 when the nuclear deal was implemented and economic sanctions were lifted. But the Iranian regime doesn’t view this as an opportunity to restore the nation’s standing with the West or make its people’s lives more comfortable. It sees it as a chance to get back to spreading the Islamic Revolution.
The assumption behind the nuclear deal—that more economic engagement with the world would somehow lure Iran’s leaders away from their confrontational policies—has proved to be false. (Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry correctly labeled it “The Worst Foreign-Policy Blunder in American History.”)
What we see in the streets are impoverished commoners exasperated and angry over broken promises, misguided priorities, repressive practices and corrupt officials.
It’s not hard to understand the outrage. Hearing about billions of dollars spent propping up the Assad regime in Syria with arms and soldiers; funding 100,000 militia fighters in Iraq; supplying advanced weapons, training and infrastructure money to Hezbollah in Lebanon; sponsoring antigovernment forces in Yemen; supporting terrorist groups in Gaza; underwriting Shiite groups in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain; funding a nuclear weapons program that has isolated your nation economically; and so on and so forth—all this becomes difficult to tolerate when you can’t afford to feed your own children.
That’s why you’re hearing chants in the street of “Death to the Islamic Republic” and “Death to Khamenei.”
This is music in the ears of Westerners accustomed to chants of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.” The Trump administration has relished the opportunity to openly support the protesters—differentiating itself from the Obama White House’s mute response to even larger popular demonstrations in Iran in 2009.
Sadly for these protesters, however—and for those hoping for a regime change—there isn’t much to be optimistic about here. The evidence strongly suggests that this revolutionary flame is fated to flicker out.
These protests, though widespread, are considerably smaller and less coordinated than those the regime squashed eight years ago. Nearly all the protesters are under age 25, and most are from the lower classes. They lack leadership and political representation—and are unlikely to get it, since, as Stratfor wrote, the reformists and moderates within the government “have nothing to gain from publicly backing a protest movement right now. … At the moment there is simply no obvious political group that could benefit from directly expressing support for the protests.”
The regime is cracking down with enough force to deter the protests from spreading—it has already killed at least 21 citizens—but not so much as to provoke significant response from other nations. And as brash as the president’s tweets may be, don’t expect a war-weary America to do anything; it has no will or stomach for another Middle East venture.
Optimistic observers are rooting for Iran’s demonstrators and hoping for the best. But this is a classic case where we can gain a clear-eyed perspective on how this drama is going to unfold by looking at Bible prophecy.
Since the early 1990s, our editor in chief has been watching for Iran to fulfill the biblically prophesied role of “king of the south.” Daniel 11 reveals that it has a pushy, provocative foreign policy and leads an alliance of Middle Eastern nations. Ever since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, this has described Iran’s behavior perfectly. Mr. Flurry’s decades-old, prophecy-based forecasts of Tehran’s dangerous religious zealotry, terrorist activities, spreading regional dominance, takeover of Iraq, pursuit of nuclear arms, and determination to punish America, eliminate Israel and seize Jerusalem have all been vindicated by subsequent events. They are more relevant and closer to complete fulfillment now than ever.
You can be sure that whatever happens with these protests will not knock Iran off this course.
The voices of these anguished Iranian masses are worth listening to while you can. They probably won’t be making headlines for much longer. But they aren’t going away. They will just fade into the dull chorus of mankind that languishes under wicked rulership. “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn” (Proverbs 29:2).
And yet, thankfully—as Anthony Chibarirwe brings out in his article on theTrumpet.com today, “Why the Iranian Protests Won’t Succeed”—regime change in Iran is coming. It isn’t because of these protests. It is because God—who hears the cries of the poor and needy, who carefully records every injustice—is about to right the wrongs being perpetrated across the whole globe. He will personally replace the wicked regimes of this world with His perfect government.