In Iran’s northeast city of Neishabour, thousands have taken to the streets to protest the price of chicken as a result of Western sanctions on the Islamic regime’s nuclear program. In the face of soaring prices of eggs, meat and fish, most Iranians have resorted to chicken as a cheap and accessible source of protein. But for months sanctions have been delaying feedstock imports, driving up the price of chicken threefold.Protestors in Neishabour have made it clear they don’t intend to suffer long for the mullahs’ pet nuclear project, as WSJ reports:
Demonstrators gathered Monday on the city’s main Imam Square and its surrounding streets chanting “Death to inflation” and “Shame on you government, you must resign,” according to a video posted on YouTube and on opposition blogs and websites.Large crowds of men and women, young and old, packed the sidewalks holding up their mobile phones as another crowd marched on the main street, according to the video.
The city’s “chief public prosecutor” spoke to the crowd in a forbidding tone:
He also warned that the city had decided to be tolerant but there would be a crackdown in the future. “Many men and women today came from every corner to join the protest and they chanted some slogans, and we have recorded everything and identified you. I hope the day doesn’t come that you stand against our regime and officials,” said Mr. Mousavia, according to a text of his speech posted on the city mosque’s official Web page.
As Via Meadia has pointed out, the ability of international sanctions to create this kind of turbulence in a big oil exporting country has significant implications for the balance of power worldwide. As for the sanctions’ strategic goal—ending the danger of an Iranian nuclear program—we’ll have to wait and see how much pain the mullahs are willing to inflict on the Iranian people in order to build its treasured “alternative energy program.”An earthquake prone, oil rich country is hardly the most logical candidate to spend billions of dollars it doesn’t have on a nuclear industry it doesn’t need; as the mullahs contemplate the ruin of their regional foreign policy and the international sanctions bite more deeply every day, we can hope that the calculus of regime survival will lead them to a serious interest in compromise.