In the article US to Iranian Protesters: You Will Not Be Forgotten, Jeff Seldin summarizes the protest in Iran, the government’s response and the U.S.’s reaction to this event. According to this article, the protest aims at the unfair treatment of the poor, economic difficulties and political corruption. The police have allegedly arrested 1,000 protesters, and this event has led to the death of 21 people. The U.S. plans to penalize the Iranian government for not only the suppression of this protest but also other “human right abuses” involvement, while some claim that this will not help uproot the problem. 1
Similarly, earlier this week, the European Union has also decided to impose sanctions on the Iranian government for plotting the assassination of some Europeans with Iranian origins. According to a New York Times article by Michael Schwirtz and Ronen Bergman, this action is uncommon from the EU’s point of view, even though the Trump administration has been urging the EU to raise its imposed sanctions for a long time. The Iran government responds to this with the accusation that the Dutch government has harbored some members of the M.E.K, a terrorist group that has bombed Iran several times during the year. 2
How does outside pressure and involvement in Iran’s domestic and foreign issues affect its political culture?
Although the U.S. sanctions Iran for suppressing a protest, while the EU penalizes Iran for assassination, both events expose the level of control that the Iran government imposes on its citizen. The M.E.K itself seeks to overthrow the regime, which could have rooted from dissatisfaction with the authoritarian regime. This reflects somewhat the level of control that the new Indian government, under the Modi administration, imposes on people whose ideals go against Hindu nationalism.
1 Jeff Seldin, “US to Iranian Protesters: You Will Not Be Forgotten,” Voice of America, (Jan. 5, 2018).
2 Michael Schwirtz and Ronen Bergman, “E.U. Imposes Sanctions on Iran Over Assassination Plots,” The New York Times (Jan. 8, 2019).