In the next six months, will the Global Protest Tracker record an anti-government protest in Iran with 10,000 or more participants lasting at least a week?

Started Nov 15, 2023 11:00PM UTC
Forecast Window 6 months

Iran has faced significant social unrest in recent years, including 3 anti-government protests with at least 10,000 participants since 2019. Economic crisis in 2019 led the Iranian government to begin rationing gasoline and raise its price, causing protests to break out across the country (New York Times, BBC). Protests over water shortages began in 2021, as Iranians blamed mismanagement and corruption-ridden infrastructure projects for worsening the water scarcity caused by drought (Reuters, Time, RFE/RL). 

In 2022, Mahsa Amini, a young woman arrested by Iran’s morality police for not wearing a hijab, died in custody, sparking widespread and long-lasting protests. The reason for her death is contested, as the Iranian government attributes her death to pre-existing medical conditions, but a UN human rights expert said the evidence established that she died "as a result of beatings” (BBC). These protests presented one of the most serious challenges to Iran’s government, as they grew to include not just efforts to improve respect and freedom for women, but also calls to overthrow Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (Atlantic Council). 

Both of these protests were met with severe responses from the Iranian government, leading to many protest-related arrests, deaths, and even executions, in the case of the Mahsa Amini protests (Human Rights Watch, Reuters). 

Resolution Criteria:  
This question will be resolved using the Carnegie Endowment’s Global Protest Tracker. You can find protests in Iran by scrolling down the alphabetical list of countries on the tracker’s home page or by clicking Iran on the map. For more information about the Global Protest Tracker, including information about what data sources are used, how start dates are determined, and the challenges of estimating protest size, click the teal box labeled “About the Tracker” on the right-hand side of the page. 

The question will be resolved as “Yes” if a protest is recorded for Iran whose peak size is recorded as ">10,000" or greater and whose duration is "1 week" or longer. Protests against non-Iranian governments or organizations (e.g., protests against Israel and the U.S.) will not be considered. 

The Global Protest Tracker is updated monthly, and records the start date as the month the protest starts. If the Global Protest Tracker records a protest that meets the resolution criteria, the INFER team will use open source reports to determine the precise resolution date. If it is unclear when the 10,000 protestor threshold was reached, the resolution date will be set as the last day of the month. If an active protest grows to reach a peak size over 10,000, this question will be resolved using the date or month when it first reached that size. If a previous protest currently not listed as active with a peak size >10,000 restarts, INFER admins will use open source reports to determine whether the protests after November 2023 have also crossed the 10,000 participant threshold.

This question is part of the issue decomposition on “Iran's Influence on Violent Non-State Actors.” For more, see INFER's explainer, issue reports, and other questions in this decomposition.
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