Iran Protests
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The Iran Protests 2017/2018 and 2019 amid the Islamic Republic’s Triple Crisis


This page lists my publications as well as media commentary and interviews (in English, German, French, with translations into Arabic, Persian, Spanish, Portuguese, Serbian/Bosnian, Turkish, Swedish etc.) on the nationwide Iran protests of Nov. 2019 (regularly updated) and those of Dec. 2017/Jan. 2018.


Research Output

These protests amid what I call the Islamic Republic’s “triple crisis” (socio-economic, political and ecological) are subject of an ongoing research project. Published and planned output so far:


Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Die Dreifach-Krise der Islamischen Republik [The Islamic Republic’s triple crisis], Bonn (Germany): Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb), forthc.

Ali Fathollah-Nejad, The Islamic Republic of Iran Four Decades On: The 2017/18 Protests Amid a Triple Crisis, Washington, DC: Brookings Institution & Doha: Brookings Doha Center (Brookings Doha Center Analysis Paper, No. 28), April 2020, ca. 60 pages | in Arabic translation.

Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Iran’s Long-Term Revolutionary Process: Beyond Methodological Nationalism, paper presented at the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS) Working Group »New Regionalisms (and the Middle East)«, Beirut, 8-9 Feb. 2020.

Ali Fathollah-Nejad & Anja Palm, MENA Spring 3.0: The Persistent »Triple Crisis« in Europe’s Neighbourhood, in: M. Sus & M. Hadeed (eds.) European Security 2030: The Results of the Dahrendorf Foresight Project, Dahrendorf Forum (joint initiative by Hertie School of Governance & LSE, funded by Stiftung Mercator), LSE IDEAS, Sep. 2019, 50–53.

Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Swamped in a Triple Crisis, Cairo Review of Global Affairs, Cairo: School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP) at American University in Cairo (AUC), No. 33 (Spring 2019), pp. 120–125.


Last update: 22 Dec. 2019 

Iran Protests – November 2019 (Âbân/Mehr 1398)


Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Die Proteste im Iran sind ein dramatischer Wendepunkt [The protests in Iran are a dramatic turning-point], Deutsche Welle (DW), 03/12 ▪ republished as Die nächste Protestewelle nur eine Frage der Zeit [The next wave of protests only a matter of time], Iran-Journal, 11/12 | DW translations: Serbian/Bosnian, 05/12.

Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Leicht entflammbar – Schwerste Unruhen seit 40 Jahren: Was die Proteste im Iran so außergewöhnlich macht [Easily infammable – Gravest unrest since 40 years: What makes the protests in Iran extraordinary], Der Tagesspiegel, 02/12, p. 6 ▪ Excerpts cited by Deutschlandfunk, 03/12 ▪ Translated into Persian: واکنش فاجعه‌بار اروپا در برابر سرکوب‌ها در ایران [Europe’s catastrophic response to the crackdown in Iran], Kayhan (London), 04/12.

Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Iran’s bloody protests are just the beginning, DW Perspectives, Deutsche Welle (DW), 28/11 | DW translations: Brazilian PortuguesePersian.

Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Why Iranians are revolting again, Order from Chaos, Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 19/11 ▪ Posted on RealClearWorld, 22/10 ▪ Excerpts reproduced in P. Gadalla, Unpacking this fall’s protests across the world, Brookings Now, Brookings Institution, 02/12 ▪ Arabic translation by the Brookings Doha Center ▪ Republished by Al-Jarida (Kuwait), 29/11 | Lebanese Center for Research and Consulting ▪ Excerpts translated into French (Libération, L’Orient-Le Jour, Les clés du Moyen-Orient [Arab transl. by Hafryat, Cairo]), Spanish (, Madrid | La Hora Digital, Madrid), Vietnamese (RFI Tiếng Việt) & Finnish (Helsingin Sanomat).

Ali Fathollah-Nejad & Payam Ghalehdar, The mirage of regime change: Why the United States is Khamenei’s bogeyman, Dialogue with the Islamic World, 20/11.

Ali Fathollah-Nejad & Payam Ghalehdar, Iranisch-amerikanisches Verhältnis: Eine unendliche Geschichte der Feindschaft?,, 18/11 ▪ republished as »Die Mär vom Regime Change«, Iran-Journal, 02/12.

Press Interviews

Iran schießt Proteste nieder: So blutig war es noch nie [Iran shoots down protesters: Never was it that bloody], interviewed by Volker Petersen,, 03/12.

Media Commentary

Mia Swart, »Vicious crackdown«: Iran protest death toll at 304, Amnesty says, Al Jazeera English, 16/12.

Julie Kebbi & Soulayma Mardam-Bey, Les enjeux de l’après-révolte en Iran, L‘Orient–Le Jour, 07/12.

Borzou Daragahi, Iran admits 200,000 took part in recent anti-government protests, 731 banks torched, The Independent, 27/11 | in Turkish translation published by Independent Türkçe, 28/11 {Print version: Iran discloses sheer scale of anti-government protests, 28/11, p. 63} ▪ Comments reproduced in Arabic by Hawar News Agency (ANHA).

Wikistrat Special Analysis: The Regional Implications of the Protests in Iran, Wikistrat, 24/11.

Hazem Saghieh, How Bashar Assad Becomes a Symbol and Inspirer, Asharq Al-Aswat, 24/11 ▪ republished by The Independent (Bangladesh), 25/11 | Iraq and Lebanon protests must not go the Syria way, Khaleej Times (UAE), 25/11.

Jean-Pierre Perrin, Iran: les manifestants matés, la répression féroce commence, Mediapart, 23/11 ▪ Irán: tras la explosión social, la represión, transl. E. García, SinPermiso, 24/11.

Thomas Seibert, Iran’s regime in most serious crisis since 1979 as it cracks down on unrest, The Arab Weekly, 24/10, p. 15 ▪ Comments reproduced by Gulf News.

Unruhen: Rund 100 Protestanführer im Iran verhaftet [Unrest: About 100 protest leaders detained in Iran], (Austria), 22/11.

Iran : la stratégie américaine est-elle en train de fonctionner ?, L’Orient–Le Jour, 21/11.

Irans Führung setzt auf Härte [Iran’s leadership relies on stealth], Die Presse (Austria), 21/11, p. 4.

John Gambrell, Iran blames deadly unrest on outsiders, including US, Associated Press, 20/11 ▪ in Spanish, 20/11.

Karoline Krauser-Sandner & Evelyn Peternel, Sniper, Netzsperre, Tote: Geht es im Iran wirklich um den Benzinpreis? [Snipers, internet blackout, casualties: Is it really about the fuel price in Iran?], (Austria), 20/11.

Christian Böhme & Thomas Seibert, Unruhen im Iran: Geraten die Mullahs in Bedrängnis? [Unrest in Iran: Are the mullahs getting in trouble?], Der Tagesspiegel, 20/11 | My comments reproduced in Arabic by Sada Alsahil | Masr Al Arabia (Cairo) | Akhbar Yemen.

Georges Issa, بعد سنة على العقوبات النفطيّة… الإيرانيون في الشارع والنتائج لم تطابق الطموحات, An-Nahar (Lebanon), 20/11.

Delphine Minoui, Iran : la hausse de l’essence déclenche des révoltes [Iran: Fuel price rise triggers revolts], Le Figaro, 19/11, p. 9 • My comments reproduced by: ارتفاع سعر البنزين يثير انتفاضة في إيران و ربيع عراقي في شهر نوفمبر / تشرين الثاني, Radio Monte Carlo Douliya (Paris), 19/11 |  صحف فرنسية: مظاهرات إيران لن تخمد والثورة ستطال خامنئي, Al-Ain (UAE), 19/11 | Kitabat (Iraq), 20/11 | روزنامه ها: مشکلات شدید معیشتی، حمایت مالی دولت از گروه‌های بیگانه در کشورهای دیگر و افزایش بهای بنزین مردم را به خیابان‌ها آورده است, RFI (Radio France Internationale) Persian, 20/11.

Élie Saïkali, Face à la contestation, la contre-attaque du pouvoir iranien [Facing demonstrations, the Iranian government strikes back], L‘Orient–Le Jour, 19/11.

Radio Interviews

Lina Verschwele, Exil-Iraner unterstützen Protestierende im Iran, BR (Bayrischer Rundfunk) B5 aktuell, 23/11 {17m38–}.

Kein Sprit, kein Netz, keine Zukunft – Aufstand im Iran [No fuel, no internet, no future – uprising in Iran], hr2 (Hessischer Rundfunk) »Der Tag«, 21/11. {19m50–26m32}

Christian Buttkereit, Erhebliche Anzahl von Toten – Internationale Besorgnis über Lage im Iran [Considerable number of dead – International concern over situation in Iran], Deutschlandfunk »Informationen am Morgen«, 19/11.

Christian Buttkereit, »Bedeutende Zahl von Toten« – UN besorgt über Lage in Iran [“Important number of dead” – UN concerned about situation in Iran], Deutschlandfunk »Das war der Tag«, 19/11.

Proteste im Iran: Unter Ausschluss der Öffentlichkeit [Protests in Iran: Hidden from public scrutiny],, 19/11.

Proteste im Iran: Über welche Repressionsmittel verfügt das Regime? [Protests in Iran: What are the means of repression the regime possesses?], Deutschlandfunk Kultur »Studio 9«, 19/11.

Proteste im Iran [Protests in Iran], Cosmo (WDR5), 18/11 & 20/11.



Iran Protests – December 2017/January 2018 (Dey 1396)


Ali Fathollah-Nejad, There’s more to Iran’s protests than you’ve been told, PBS NewsHour, 3 April 2018.

Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Revolte gegen die Revolution: Bilanz zum 39. Jahrestag der Revolution in Iran [Revolt against the revolution: Balance-sheet on the 39th anniversary of the Revolution in Iran], taz.die tageszeitung, 3–4 Feb. 2018, p. 11.

Ali Fathollah-Nejad & Arash Sarkohi, »Fürchtet euch!« Wenn Slogans für sich sprechen [»Be afraid!« When slogans speak for themselves], Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 16 Jan. 2018, p. 37.

Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Causes behind Iran’s Protests: A Preliminary Account, Al Jazeera English, 6 Jan. 2018.

Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Iran : Les racines et ferments de la colère [Iran: Roots and ferments of the rage], L’Orient-Le Jour (Beirut), 6 Jan., p. 9

Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Wenn die letzte Hoffnung zerstört ist: Warum das Regime im Iran jetzt infrage gestellt wird [When the last hope is destroyed: Why the regime in Iran is now being put in question], Der Tagesspiegel (Berlin), 4 Jan., p. 6.

TV Interviews

Iran Protests End, But Grievances Remain, interviewed by Aaron Maté, The Real News Network, 12/01/18.

Iran Protests: Takeaways and Prospects, Brookings Doha Center, 04/01/18.

Protests in Iran, DW (Deutsche Welle), »DW News«, 04/01/18.

Iran accuses ‘enemies’ as US seeks emergency UN session, Al Jazeera English, 03/01/18.

Protests in Iran, Al Jazeera English »The News Grid«, {29m34–35m40}, 01/01/18.

Weiter Proteste im Iran [Ongoing protests in Iran], interviewed by Jens Olesen, Deutsche Welle, »Der Tag«, 01/01/18.

What Triggered Iran’s Protests?, Al Jazeera English »Inside Story«, 30/12/17. [Media reports: DQ Yam (China), 02/01; (Indonesia), 02/01; Rilis: Belita Politik Indonesia (Jakarta), 02/01]

Radio Interviews

Was bewegt die Jugend in Iran?, Böll.Fokus, Berlin: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, 28/03/18.

Claude Biver, Politesch Onrouen am Iran [Political unrest in Iran], radio 100,7 (Luxembourg), 30/01/18 | Radio feature, 29/01.

Proteste in Iran [Protests in Iran], Radio FM4 – ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation), »Auf Laut«, 09/01/18.

Proteste im Iran: »Junge Menschen, die mit dem Rücken zur Wand stehen« [Protests in Iran: »Young people who stand with their back to the wall«], WDR 2, »Mittagsmagazin«, 05/01/18.

Proteste im Iran, BR2 (Bayrischer Rundfunk), »radioWelt«, 03/01/18.

Proteste im Iran [Protests in Iran], Ali Fathollah-Nejad interviewed by Jürgen Deppe, NDR Kultur, 03/01/18.

Proteste im Iran [Protests in Iran], Ali Fathollah-Nejad interviewed by Matthias Dänzer-Vanotti, Bayern 2, »radioWelt«, 03/01/18.

Proteste im Iran: “Das ganze System der Islamischen Republik wird kritisiert”, Deutschlandfunk, »Informationen am Tag«, 02/01/18.

Ann-Kathrin Büüsker, Iran: Was treibt die Menschen auf die Straße? [Iran: What drives people onto the streets], Deutschlandfunk, »Der Tag«, 02/01/18.

Interviews: Print & Online

APA (Austria Presse Agentur), Iran-Experte: »Proteste sind neues Kapitel«, Salzburger Nachrichten, 19/02.

Ali Cem Deniz & Gersin Livia Paya, »Das iranische Regime ist reformresistent« [»The Iranian regime is resilient towards reform«], interview with Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Radio FM4 – ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation), 09/01.

Ferdinand Knauß, Iran-Experte Ali Fathollah-Nejad: »Rohanis Kurs war von Anfang an ungeeignet« [Iran expert Ali Fathollah-Nejad: »From the beginning Rouhani’s economic course was inadequate«], interview with Ali Fathollah-Nejad, WirtschaftsWoche, 05/01.

Thomas Ludwig, Interview zu Iran-Protesten: »Die Islamische Republik ist an sich kaum reformfähig« [Interview on Iran protests: »The Islamic Republic as such is hardly reformable«], interview with Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, 03/01, p. 3.

Vanessa Vu, Proteste im Iran: »Das Regime in Teheran ist reformresistent« [Protests in Iran: »The regime in Tehran is resilient towards reform«] interview with Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Zeit Online, 03/01.

Gian Micalessin, »Voi europei avete creduto all’esistenza di un’élite buona« [»You Europeans believed in the existence of a good élite«], interview with Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Il Giornale (Milano), 03/01, p. 10.

Media Commentary

Susanne Klaiber, Umweltschützer im Visier: Irans Häscher schlagen wieder zu [Environmentalists targeted: Iran’s bloodhounds strike again] , HuffPost Deutschland, 14/02.

Roberto Vivadelli, Iran, le rivendicazioni delle donne vanno oltre il velo [Iran, women’s demands go beyond the veil], Il Giornale On Line (Milano), 24/01.

Muhammad Zamir [fmr. Ambassador], Iran protests highlight issues of good governance and accountability, The Financial Express (Dhaka), 21/01 ▪ a version published as Can there be meaningful change in Iran?, Dhaka Tribune (Bangladesh), 20/01 ▪ Domestic issues need to be addressed in Iran, Bangladesh Post, 23/01.

Daniel Steinvorth, Die Mär von den guten und den bösen Mullahs: Solidarität mit den Iranern, nicht mit den Mullahs [The tale of the good and bad mullahs: Solidarity with Iranians, not with the mullahs], Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 19/01.

Stefania D’Ignoti, Women’s campaigns flourish beyond Iran protests, Al-Monitor, 18/01.

Josie Ensor, Why are Iranian protesters calling for the return of the Shah?, The Telegraph (online), 14/01.

Anna Samarina, Proteste im Iran: 21 Tote und über 450 Verhaftete – Warum reagierte die Bundesregierung nur zögerlich?, Epoch Times, 13/01.

Manfred Bergheim, Großen Hoffnungen folgt die Ernüchterung, VDI nachrichten, Verband Deutscher Ingenieure (VDI, Association of German Engineers), Vol. 72, Nos. 1–3 (12/01), p. 7.

Nadine Abdalla, Two Major Keys for Understanding the Iranian Protests (in Arabic), Al-Masry Al-Youm (Egypt), 12/01.

Jörg Lau, Iran: »Brot, Arbeit, Freiheit« [Iran: »Bread, job, freedom«], Die Zeit, No. 03/2018 (11–17/01), p. 6. {Persian translation}

Proteste in Iran [Protests in Iran], »Politik – Hintergrund aktuell«,, Bonn: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (Federal Agency for Civic Education), 11/01.

Marcus Mäckler, Atomabkommen: Trumps heikle Entscheidung, Münchner Merkur, 11/01, p. 4 & Oberbayerisches Volksblatt (OBV), 11/01.

Fatima Al-Smadi, Iran’s Protests: Are They the Start of the »Bread« Uprising?, Report, Doha: Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, 08/01.

Asa Fitch & Jared Malsin, Behind Iran’s Protests: A Struggling Economy Despite Sanctions Relief, The Wall Street Journal (online), 04/01.

Ein Flächenbrand ohne sichtbaren Auslöser [A wild fire without apparent trigger], AFP, 03/01.

Samia Medawar, L’interventionnisme iranien dans la ligne de mire des manifestants [Iranian interventionism in the protesters‘ line of fire], L’Orient-Le Jour (Beirut), 03/01, p. 7. [Republished by Le Courrier international, 03/01]

Andreia Martins, Entre a “ingerência externa” e o direito ao protesto. O que se passa no Irão?, RTP (Rádio e Televisão de Portugal), 03/01.

»Der Protest fiel auf fruchtbaren Boden« [»The protest took place on fertile gound], Münchner Merkur, 03/01.

Maseer Daily (in Pashto) (Afghanistan), 02/01.

Iran-Experte Fathollah-Nejad warnt vor Zerrbild der Proteste im Iran [Iran expert Fathollah-Nejad warns about a distortion of the protests in Iran), dpa (Deutsche Presse-Agentur), 02/01.

Marco Fieber, Aufstand von unten: Warum die Proteste im Iran ein Klassenkampf sind [Uprising from below: Why the protests in Iran are a class struggle], HuffPost, 02/01.

Gewalttätige Proteste: Iran verliert die Kontrolle [Violent protests: Iran loses control], Handelsblatt, 02/01.

Hunderte Festnahmen im Iran – Oberster Führer sieht Verschwörung [Hundreds of arrests in Iran – Supreme Leader sees conspiracy], (Austria), 02/01.

Ariane Sohrabi-Shirazi, Iran protests: Why are thousands of Iranians demonstrating against the government?, Daily Star (UK), 02/01.

Why did protests erupt in Iran? Here’s everything you need to know about the protests rocking Iran, Vennomax, 02/01.

Jahin Khan, Economic Protests Shake Iran, The Organization for World Peace, 02/01.

„Der Protest fiel auf fruchtbaren Boden“, Oberbayerisches Volksblatt (OVB), 02/01.

Allison Kaplan Sommer, Iran Protests Explained: Why Are Thousands of Iranians Taking to the Streets, Haaretz, 01/01.

Borzou Daragahi, Iran’s Rouhani Acknowledges Right To Protest, But Blasts Trump For Encouraging It, BuzzFeed News, 31/12/17.

Five things you need to know about protests in Iran, Al Jazeera English, 31/12/17.

Malin Rising, Experter: Ökande sociala klyftor bakom protester [Experts: Increasing social gaps behind protests], Omni (Sweden), 31/12/17.