Sunday, October 30, 2022

Iran Crisis Update, October 30

Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, and Frederick W. Kagan

October 30, 5:00 PM ET

The Iran Crisis Updates are produced by the Critical Threats Project (CTP) at the American Enterprise Institute with support from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). To receive Iran Crisis Updates via email, please subscribe here.

The regime is escalating its protest crackdown in a way that could fuel an enduring and increasingly violent uprising against the political establishment. Protests continued on October 30 despite the call from Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander Major General Hossein Salami for the immediate end of protests on October 29.[1] Protest organizations have called for more demonstrations from November 1-3.[2] The regime will likely intensify its crackdown further in the coming days as protests continue. Such an escalation will likely cause protesters to either stop demonstrating or escalate further themselves in response.

Protesters are developing the infrastructure necessary to stage a protracted struggle against the regime. NBC News reported on October 29 that protesters have established an informal medical care network for injured demonstrators—another sign of the growing coordination and organization within the movement.[3] Physicians are treating injured protesters in private homes so that protesters can avoid clinics and hospitals. Security forces have denied medical care to some injured protesters and used hospitals to identify and track them.[4] The Tehran Neighborhood Youth published a statement praising medical professionals who joined the protests on October 30.[5] CTP has previously reported on protesters’ impressive ability to coordinate large-scale demonstrations on specific dates and organize militant tactics against security forces.[6] The formation of an informal medical network could facilitate other forms of logistical cooperation among disaffected citizens.

The regime’s increasing violence against university and high school students will likely entrench anti-regime sentiments among its young population, which will likely last for decades. Security forces continued using violence against students for the second consecutive day on October 30, clashing with students and firing live ammunition in one instance.[7] Security forces violently arrested students and injured high schoolers on October 12, 24, 29, as CTP previously reported.[8] Amnesty International reported that Iranian security personnel killed at least 23 children in the Mahsa Amini protests on October 13, a figure that has almost certainly grown in recent days.[9] This repression will likely alienate these youth from the regime for most if not all of their lives.

Repressing children may decrease the willingness of some security officers to continue cracking down, on the other hand. Less ideological security personnel may struggle to sustain this level of violence against children. CTP has not yet observed indications of insubordination among security personnel in recent days and will continue to update this assessment. The regime appears concerned about the morale of its security forces, however. Parliament approved a motion to increase the salary of military and security personnel by 20 percent on October 30, likely to mitigate the risk of defections and insubordination among the security forces.[10]

Key Takeaways

  • The regime may inadvertently push the ongoing protests to become an enduring uprising against the political establishment.
  • Anti-regime protests occurred in at least 22 cities in 15 provinces.
  • Unidentified individuals killed a Law Enforcement Command officer in Iranshahr, Sistan and Baluchistan Province.
  • The IRGC Intelligence Organization arrested three individuals who were preparing Molotov cocktails in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province.

Anti-Regime Protests

Anti-regime protests occurred in at least 22 cities in 15 provinces on October 30. CTP assesses with moderate to high confidence that protests occurred in the following locations:

  • Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province (Undetermined number of Tabriz University students chanted “this is the year of blood, Khamenei will be overthrown.”)[11]
  • Shiraz, Fars Province (Over 100 Shiraz Azad University students chanted anti-regime slogans, faced Basij counter-protesters)[12]
  • Ghazvin City, Ghazvin Province (Undetermined number of Khomeini International University student protesters chanted anti-regime slogans, faced Basij counter-protesters.)[13]
  • Gorgan, Golestan Province (Undetermined number of Gorgan University student protesters chanted “you’re the pervert, you’re the sleaze, I’m a woman who is free.”)[14]
  • Arak, Markazi Province (Arak University students chanted slogans criticizing Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on campus.)[15]
  • Tafresh, Markazi Province (Undetermined number of Tafresh University students chanted anti-regime slogans.)[16]
  • Babol, Mazandaran Province (Over 100 Babol Noshirvani University of Technology students chanted anti-regime slogans.)[17]
  • Mashhad, Khorasan Razavi Province (Roughly 150 Montazeri Technical University of Mashhad student protesters chanted anti-regime slogans. Roughly 100 Khayyam University of Mashhad students chanted “freedom, freedom, freedom” on campus. Undetermined number of Rezvan Campus of Imam Reza International University student protesters chanted “death to the gunman, whether in Mashhad or Shiraz.”)[18]
  • Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province (Over 100 Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz students chanted anti-regime slogans, including “death to the tyrant, whether they be a king or another leader.”)[19]
  • Marivan, Kurdistan Province (Undetermined number of Marivan University student protesters chanted "Khamenei is a murderer, his government is invalid.”)[20]
  • Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province (Hundreds of university student protesters throughout Sanandaj participated in anti-regime demonstrations. Iranian security personnel reportedly fired live ammunition at Yazdanpanah University of Sanandaj students. Kurdistan University officials and professors reportedly protested and prevented security forces from arresting students in the girls’ dormitories.)[21]
  • Koudasht, Lorestan Province (Over 100 protesters chanted “death to the dictator” in a city street.)[22]
  • Shahroud, Semnan Province (Undetermined number of Shahroud University of Technology student protesters chanted “fear not, we’re all in this together.”)[23]
  • Eslamshahr, Tehran Province (Over 100 Eslamshahr Azad University student protesters chanting anti-regime slogans. Iranian security personnel documented attacking student protesters.)[24]
  • Parand, Tehran Province (Over 100 Parand Azad University student protesters chanted anti-regime slogans on campus.)[25]
  • Tehran City, Tehran Province (Hundreds of North Tehran Azad University student protesters participated in an anti-regime protest on campus. Basij counter-protesters reportedly attacked anti-regime student protesters. Iranian security personnel have reportedly fired tear gas at student protesters, locked university entrances, and are prohibiting students from leaving campus. Students pictured climbing over university walls to escape the premises. Undetermined number of Al Zahra University of Tehran student protesters clashed with Basij members participating in counter-protests. Undetermined number of Allameh Tabataba’i Literature and Foreign Language student protesters organized a sit-in protesting the expulsion and suspension of student protesters)[26]
  • Zanjan City, Zanjan Province (Hundreds of Zanjan University students chanting "freedom, freedom, freedom" in university cafeteria. Anti-regime student protesters chanted “this is the year of blood, Khamenei will be overthrown” in confrontation with Basij counter protesters on other area of campus.)[27]

CTP assesses with low confidence that protests occurred in the following locations:

  • Ilam City, Ilam Province (Footage purportedly shows security personnel firing tear gas at people attending the 40-day ceremony commemorating the death of Mohsen Ghaisari. No footage of protest available.)[28]
  • Ravansar, Kermanshah Province (Roughly a dozen protesters chanting “death to the dictator,” possibly signaling the beginning of further protests this evening.)[29]
  • Mahabad, West Azerbaijan Province (Protesters setting fire to city street, possibly preventing Iranian security personnel from entering an area where protests will occur at a later time.)[30]
  • Piranshahr, West Azerbaijan Province (Fewer than a dozen protesters set fire to tires on a city street, possibly preventing Iranian security personnel from entering an area where protests will occur at a later time.)[31]
  • Sardasht, West Azerbaijan Province (Some protesters set fire to tires on a city street, possibly preventing Iranian security personnel from entering an area where protests will occur at a later time)[32]

Unidentified individuals killed a Law Enforcement Command officer in Iranshahr, Sistan and Baluchistan Province on October 30.[33] It is unclear whether these individuals were protesters. CTP last reported protests in Iranshahr on October 28.[34] Anti-regime militancy and drug smuggling are common around Iranshahr.

The IRGC Intelligence Organization arrested three individuals who were preparing Molotov cocktails in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province on October 30.[35] IRGC-affiliated media described the individuals as a “sabotage team.”

Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf emphasized the importance and legality of non-violent protests within the Islamic Republic on October 30.[36] Ghalibaf stated that non-violent protests were an effective means to achieve political reform, striking a more conciliatory tone than senior IRGC officials who have called for greater crackdowns on protests in recent days.[37] An Iranian media outlet reported that Ghalibaf and his affiliates were blaming conservative hardliners for stoking anti-regime sentiments among Iranian women and youth on October 27.[38] Ghalibaf separately threatened Israel and Saudi Arabia on October 30 for their perceived role in inciting the October 26 Shiraz attack.

Axis of Resistance and Regional Developments

There was nothing significant to report today.




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[10] https://www.tabnak dot ir/fa/news/1147885







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[33] http://www.mashreghnews dot ir/news/1431274


[35] http://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1401/08/08/2796067

[36] http://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1401/08/08/2795894

[37] http://www.tasnimnews dot com/fa/news/1401/08/08/2795894

[38] https://www.rouydad24 dot ir/fa/news/321795/%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%82%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%A8%DB%8C-%D9%87%D8%A7-%D9%88-%D8%B3%D9%88%D9%BE%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%82%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%A8%DB%8C-%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D9%87%D9%85-%D8%AF%D8%B1%DA%AF%DB%8C%D8%B1-%D8%B4%D8%AF%D9%86%D8%AF-%D8%B1%D9%88%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%88%DB%8C%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AF%D9%88%DA%AF%D8%A7%D9%87-%D8%A7%D8%B5%D9%88%D9%84%DA%AF%D8%B1%D8%A7%DB%8C%DB%8C; https://www.isna dot ir/news/1401080301933/%D8%B3%D9%88%D9%BE%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%82%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%A8%DB%8C-%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D9%86-%DB%8C%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B4%D8%AA-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%86%D8%AF