This revolt has a new dynamic than that of the one in 2009, which wanted the status quo, just with a new face, placing value on Islam over every day life and freedom.
This revolt is rejecting the older revolt as a complete failure, their lives are miserable and they see Islam as a lesser value than liberty in the West, and food on the table. Supporting Hezbollah, Hamas, Yemen jihadis and funding terrorism in general is not increasing the standard living of their lives, it never did.
This isn’t 2009: Iranians’ 9-point demand for referendum on Islamic Republic
A number of knowledgeable experts have been weighing in to emphasize that the uprising in Iran is not like the one in 2009.
There are plenty of reasons for this, starting with the point that in 2009, there was a specific catalyst for the protests: a national election whose results looked suspicious. In the last three days of December 2017, there was no such catalyst. There was only the burning sense among the people that too much is wrong, from repression and lack of freedom to mistreatment by the radical regime, and its obsession with squandering the nation’s resources on foreign wars.
I’ve mentioned a couple of times already that this is a widespread and broad-based uprising. Michael Ledeen deals with that point at PJ Media this week:
It’s different in at least two ways, geographical and demographical.
Geographically, whereas the 2009 protests were mainly limited to Tehran, today’s phenomenon covers the whole country, from major cities to smaller towns and even rural villages. That’s significant, because those who do not believe in the prospects of an Iranian revolution invariably argue that opposition to the regime is restricted to the elites of the big cities, and that rural populations are pro-regime. It’s difficult to judge how many rural residents are protesting, but it’s a significant number. That’s new, and I believe it surprised both the regime and the leaders of the uprising.
The demographic difference is class: the 2009 demonstrators were Tehrani bourgeoisie (bazaaris, for example). Today’s masses are proletarians: workers, unemployed, failing farmers and the like. Notice that trade unionists are being arrested in Tehran, because the tyrants fear they are the real organizers of the uprising, and because workers and the unemployed are not as easy to intimidate as professors and businessmen.