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Iranians Don’t Want to Play Mullahs’ Game of Chicken

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.

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  • Ed

    Generic Iranian protest = Death to blank!

    While I recognize that the Iranian people crave freedom and do not support their horrific government, I find this most amusing.

    Perhaps they can invent a means of using a car bomb to cut, excuse me, kill inflation? Maybe the next move is Death to Fiat Money! or perhaps Death to Printing Money to Pay Off Debts Incurred by Incompetent Fiscal Management and Grandiose Projects we Don’t Actually Need!

    Nah, probably back to Margbar Amrika! It’s catchier.

  • Ed Snyder

    And it’s going to get worse as the price of chicken feed goes up. From the link:

    “Twice in the last five years, rising food prices triggered global waves of social unrest. With drought baking U.S. crops, another round of soaring, society-straining price spikes may happen in coming months…

    “The ongoing drought, the United States’ worst since the Dust Bowl, is expected to last until October and will decimate U.S. harvests. America is the world’s largest exporter of corn, wheat and soy beans; global prices for those commodities have already surged to record levels.”

  • Lorenz Gude

    I see little reason to believe that the Iranian leadership will respond to the calculus of survival. I think they are more like the Jpanese military at the end of WW 2 who were perfectly willing to keep going despite being nuked twice. on the other hand I think the Iranian people are getting pretty sick of them and just may effectively rise up aggainst them. The problem is that the regime is like the Blues Brothers-they are on a mission from God.

  • Micha

    Why are sanctions that hurt many civilians considered better than an air strike against specific military targets?

  • Walter Sobchak

    As long as the Revolutionary Guard is willing to shoot at the civilians, the Mullahs are safe.

  • Kris

    “we can hope that the calculus of regime survival will lead them to a serious interest in compromise.”

    AFP: “Iran is defiantly forging on with its controversial nuclear activities by activating hundreds more uranium enrichment centrifuges, according to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.”

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