By Leila Zand
In the final days of 2017, a series of anti-government rallies took place in Iran, taking by surprise both international observers and the Iranian society. Some argue the root cause was the nation’s poor economy and financial difficulties, while others believe the lack of political freedom in Iran was the primary reason and that “regime change” was the protesters’ ultimate demand.
President Hassan Rouhani’s administration and other reformists initially found themselves in an unusual alliance alongside individuals from conservative camps, as they all spoke in support of the original demonstration that took place in the city of Mashhad. However, as the unrest continued and grew, many believed the nationwide protests occurred only with the support of “enemy” forces.
Leila Zand is an Iranian-American educator, speaker, and peace activist. As the Fellowship of Reconciliation’s staff person on Middle East issues from 2006-13, she organized a dozen interfaith civilian diplomacy delegations of U.S. citizens to Iran and led several coalition campaigns for ending international sanctions against the country. Born in Tehran, Leila now lives in the Washington, D.C. area.
Read the entire post here: FOR’s Blog – Fellowship of Reconciliation