Americans are fortunate to live in a country where freedom and prosperity can be taken for granted. We are free to say and do (within the law) pretty much what we want. Food is widely available and affordable for the vast majority of Americans. The fact is, most of us live a relatively comfortable life and would not be willing to risk our lives to change anything. It may be difficult for us to imagine what life is like in Iran and why people are protesting the ruling government there. Thanks to President Obama, billions of dollars in cash poured into Iran and the nation sits atop a sea of oil, one of the world’s most prized resources. Corrupt leadership has stolen much of Iran’s wealth for themselves and used the rest to fund terrorism throughout the region. They are also financing military operations in Iraq and Syria, while life for the average Iranian remains a daily struggle. Perhaps common citizens have had their fill of suppression and deprivation and are striking out against the Iranian government. Since the overthrow of the Shah of Iran in 1979 the country has largely been controlled by religious leaders who imposed strict Islamic customs. Under the Shah, Iran accepted Western dress, music and other modern ways of life. The Islamic Revolution was partially in response to this Westernization. The international sanctions imposed in 2006 led to high inflation, unemployment (particularly among the under 30) and an increase in poverty. Sanctions aside the secular component of the country has mismanaged the nation’s wealth.
Young Iranians are aware of the freedoms and conveniences enjoyed by those in other nations and they long for the same. They view their oppressive government and spiritual leaders as controlling and restrictive. Elections are staged and the voice of the average Iranian is ignored. Protests began as an expression of dissatisfaction with current economic policies, but have expanded to include political and religious discontent. The Iranian government is attempting to isolate current events from the rest of the world. If able to censor outgoing communications leaders can apply military force to put down the protests forcefully. The government is deploying the Revolutionary Guard to squash the uprising. Unlike the protests in 2009 President Trump is encouraging the protestors. The U.S. will not turn its back on the quest for freedom, wherever that may be. Freedom is a basic human need and no government can restrain the need forever.