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Iran protests set to continue amid collapsing currency, increasing pressure on regime

Behnam Ben Taleblu
27th June 2018 - Quoted by Natasha Turak - CNBC

Protests began in Iran’s capital on Sunday, sparked by shop owners — or bazaaris — shutting their doors to voice their anger at the plummeting Iranian rial.

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"Iranians of different classes are increasingly willing to challenge the regime," said Behnam Ben Taleblu, a research fellow at Washington-based think tank the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. "The fate of the Rouhani government... will be a footnote in this larger struggle for representative government."

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Still, the protests and strikes will not be for naught, Ben Taleblu believes. "Every time Iranians take to the street, the regime trembles," he said, highlighting the significance of the protests coming from the regime's social base.

"This past winter, the urban and rural poor, whom the Islamic Republic calls the 'downtrodden,' took the streets. Now, it is the bazaar turning out, which back in 1979 partnered with the clergy to topple the Shah and create the Islamic Republic."

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