Protests in Iran: a Desperate Call for Domestic Reform

At a Glance:

The Islamic Republic is not immune to social unrests. Since 2017 onward, Iran has been the theatre of several spontaneous protests and riots, illustrating the consequences of complex structural deficiencies. Despite the regime’s concerted efforts to forcefully contain the protests, often through repression or intimidation, the recurrence of unrests reveals an underlying failure to address the root causes of numerous issues.


Based on data collected on the recent anti-regime protests that took place between December 2017 and January 2020, this policy brief suggests that more progress could be made if the EU deployed increased diplomatic resources to pressure the Iranian regime to implement domestic reforms. For this purpose, the EU should consider using the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as a means to incentivize positive change in Iran.


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Authored by the BIC Research Department and supervised by Director Ramadan Abu Jazar.

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