The Spark Behind Iran’s Unrest: Millions of Defrauded Investors

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Protests over losses at loosely regulated credit institutions, which have hit millions of Iranians, smoldered through 2017, The Wall Street Journal reported. The resentment exploded…and provided the spark that set off the most sustained unrest in Iran in almost a decade. The complaints over financial fraud quickly morphed into a wider protest over an economy that hasn’t performed to expectations, especially following a landmark nuclear deal in 2015 that eased Western sanctions but didn’t do much to improve living standards. Many Iranians took to the streets to protest rising prices and the economic policies of centrist President Hassan Rouhani. Very quickly protests shifted into demonstrations against Iran’s regime, and marchers called for the downfall of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The government deployed security forces to crack down on protesters and arrested over 4,000 people. More than 20 people have died in the protests and three in detention centers. Read more. (Subscription required.)