For the second day in a row, thousands of Iranians chanted anti-regime slogans and protested in the streets of major cities. Surprisingly, there were even angry chants of "Death to the Dictator" and "Death to Rouhani."
The protests took place in the second largest city in Iran, Mashhad, the capital of the Razavi Khorasan Province, located in the northeast of the country, bordering with Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. Similar protests are being held in cities of Neyshabur and Shahroud.
<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Relatively large protests in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Iranian?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Iranian</a> city of Mashhad, against corruption and inflation, after months of scattered protests in mainly <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tehran?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tehran</a>. The IMF had warned Iran about serious problems in the banking system, some of which are on the verge of collapse. <a href="https://t.co/SlhBFpRMhW">pic.twitter.com/SlhBFpRMhW</a></p>— Rana Rahimpour (@ranarahimpour) <a href="https://twitter.com/ranarahimpour/status/946395063420104709?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 28, 2017</a></blockquote>
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The demonstrators also chanted "One less case of corruption would resolve our problem."
The protests come after the government hiked prices just before the end of the year and is cracking down on some of its local banks to shore up their finances after the IMF had repeatedly warned the Iranian government that such would happen.
Although the Iranian economy has officially gotten out of recession and inflation is under control, most businesses are still struggling from a lack of investment and the official unemployment rate is 12.4%, up 1.4% from the previous year, though many say the true figure is closer to an unemployment rate of 25-30%.
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Iran has seen street protests before, during the rule of President Ahmedinejad. It is, however, the first time that President Rouhani is targeted. Rouhani often called a “moderate” reformist, won a second term in office last May thanks in part to his promise of rebuilding the economy, shattered by years of international sanctions and corruption within government circles.