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Thousands of protesters take to streets of Iran, fueling talk of possible revolution, regime change
Protests continue across Iran, and protesters are reportedly calling for the death of their rulers. The protests started last week over economic and political unrest. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Thousands of protesters take to streets of Iran, fueling talk of possible revolution, regime change

For days, protests have erupted across Iran over an array of economic and political woes. As tensions continue to escalate, demonstrators are reportedly calling for the death of their rulers.

What's going on?

Amid the return of U.S. sanctions against the country, Iranians have taken to the streets in droves to protest rising prices, shortages, and strict Islamic rule. Activists claimed security forces killed one protester.

Several videos have circulated online, said to be showing Iran's unrest. One purportedly claims to show 100,000 protesters in the city of Shiraz, Fox News reported, yelling "death to the dictator! Death to Khamenei! Death to Rouhani!," and "Islamic regime must get lost!"

Ali Khamenei has served as the grand ayatollah of Iran since 1989, and President Hassan Rouhani has been in office since 2013.

Hanif Jazayeri of the National Council of Resistance of Iran told The Daily Mail, "The demonstrations are not just over economic issues but very quickly turned political due to the regime's repression of the Iranian people with regards to women's rights, freedom of speech and other basic freedoms."

He continued, "People are starting to wake up and see that revolution is a real possibility. I think there will be one."

Is a revolution possible?

Political activist Bahman Amoei is not so sure. He told the New York Times, "There is no vision, no leadership, and the protests will not lead to any chain reaction across the country, at this point."

"I have to admit that the state, its security and propaganda machine is capable of engineering public opinion very successfully and persuade the wider populace that the status quo is in their favor and change will be too costly," he added.

The human rights organization Amnesty International made a public plea Wednesday, asking Iranian authorities to release peaceful demonstrators following reports of mass arrests.

In its statement, the group said, "According to reports from journalists and human rights activists inside Iran, as well as independent news groups outside the country, security forces have detained scores of people in jails and secret detention facilities notorious for torture and other ill-treatment over the past week, denying many of them access to their families and lawyers."

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