Interior Ministry clarifies root causes of Iran protests

January 23, 2018

TEHRAN – Deputy Interior Minister Hossein Zolfaqari has shed light on the root causes of the recent protests which broke out across the country and died out after a week, saying the ministry has provided President Rouhani with an inclusive report on the sources of public discontent.

The report has been issued to give an objective account of the recent unrest and is devoid of any political bias so as to avoid making miscalculations, Zolfaqari was quoted by IRNA as saying on Tuesday.

On Sunday, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli announced that he has presented the report to the president.

Rahmani Fazli said based on information provided by law enforcement and security bodies, the Interior Ministry has addressed and identified the causes behind the unrest and has suggested solutions to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

It came days after President Rouhani ordered the interior minister to prepare and present a detailed report on the recent unrest, in coordination with other state bodies.

Interior Ministry cites trust deficit, unfulfilled expectations raised in presidential elections, and provocations by foreign enemies as the major causes of protests.

Elaborating on the report, Zolfaqari said the activities of Iran’s foreign enemies – especially the United States, its regional servants and opposition groups – was one of the reasons behind the unrest.

Another reason, the official said, is a decline in public trust which could be attributed to many reasons, including governmental bodies’ incompetence in meeting the needs of the society, certain disputes and weaknesses.

He added that expectations also soared during the recent presidential election campaigns, leading to an accumulation of unfulfilled aspirations and popular discontent.

Zolfaqari said since the beginning of the current Persian year (March 21), 37% of the protests held across the country were economy-related, with 74% of those protesters dissatisfied with the illegal financial and credit institutions.

He also said the vast majority of the protesters didn’t have college degree, while only one percent of them held master’s degree. “Also, 84% of them were under 35 years old with no criminal records.” 

Pointing to foreign forces’ role in the protests, the official said their activities against Iran reached its peak on January 1, when “the enemies intended to incite individuals to resort to armed action against the country’s security.”

“Because of their deep faith, beliefs and fear of undermining the country’s security, the Iranian people did not show support for the protests,” he stressed.

However, unless rapid steps are taken within the country’s structural-legal system, public discontent is not expected to be lessened, he concluded.


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