Economic problems fuel recent protests in the Islamic Republic.

Iranian flagsBy Clement Therme, Research Fellow for Iran

Six nights of protests against economic hardship and the perceived unfairness of the Islamic Republic have rocked Iran.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his allies are facing deep social discontent that represents a tremendous challenge to state security forces and their efforts to restore the Islamist order. In the longer term, they will also have to overcome this popular discontent in order to guarantee the survival of the Islamic revolution of 1979.

These protests have been sparked by both immediate and structural causes.

Amongst the short-term factors, one has to consider the 40 percent increase of the price of eggs, rises in the prices of many other staples, government efforts to cut subsidies to the poorest citizens, and the closure of credit agencies that has dispossessed several groups of Iranian investors.

More broadly, expectations that the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers would deliver significant economic improvements were exaggerated. The international agreement did not lead to an improvement in the daily lives of the majority of the Iranian population.

Read the full article at Ahval.