Mahsa Amini


Iranian affairs Professor Ismail Sari told The New Arab portal: “While some members of the regime continue to believe it is necessary to act brutally to prevent protests from gaining (further) momentum, others feel that violence against protesters doesn’t work and the protests will only come back bigger and stronger.”

End of Theocracy?

Given Iran's complex and regimented theocratic system, the protests are unlikely to escalate into another Arab Spring. Indeed, democracy and hard-core Islam seem prima facia incompatible, as the failure of the Arab Spring in all countries where it had once ignited the hope of democratic transition amply demonstrates. More so for Iran, wherethose who exercise power are handpicked by the all-powerful Supreme Leader and lack accountability to citizens.

Creeping curbs

Amini, 22, died on 16 September three days after slipping into a coma following her arrest by Iran’s morality police for an alleged breach of the country’s oppressive dress code.