GZERO Media logo

Protest in Iran

Protest in Iran

No one knows what Iranians really think of their government. Outsiders aren't allowed to ask them, and they're not allowed to say. But Iran's supreme leader, its security forces, and all who support them have a common problem: No Iranian under the age of 45 is old enough to remember the 1979 Islamic Revolution that gives them their mandate to rule.

That reality has come into focus again in recent days. On January 3, US forces assassinated Qassim Suleimani, a popular and powerful Iranian general. The killing was a response to an attack by Iran-backed militias in Iraq that killed an American contractor, and to attacks on the US embassy in Baghdad on December 29 and December 31.


On the night that Iran fired missiles at Americans inside Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Suleimani, Iran's air defenses mistakenly shot down a Boeing 737 passenger plane near Tehran's main airport. This error killed 176 people, 82 of them Iranians.

When the US and Canadian governments reported evidence of this mistake, Iranian officials accused them of lying. When they then admitted three days later that Iran's military had "accidentally" shot down the plane, large protests erupted in Tehran and other Iranian cities.

The demonstrators demanded accountability from their government, despite the presence of large numbers of fully armed riot police, security forces patrolling the streets on motorcycles, and an awareness that plainclothes police were moving among the crowd.

They also knew that Iran's security forces are willing to kill protesters. Just two months ago, security forces responded to demonstrations against a government hike in fuel prices by killing some 1,500 people. There is some evidence that police have fired live ammunition at protesters again this week.

Iran's government has also tried to stifle dissent by controlling the flow of information its citizens receive. State media reported that missiles fired following Suleimani's death had killed 80 Americans. In reality, there's no evidence of a single US casualty.

But state officials know the public is less likely to believe these claims when they're forced to admit the US and Canada were right that Iran had shot down that passenger plane. That's why Iranian officials reportedly shut down segments of Iran's internet last week— and why these shutdowns may become more common.

There's no sign that Iran is on the verge of a new revolution. Yes, US sanctions are again strangling Iran's economy with no sign of relief in sight. But protests in Iran are common, and security forces can probably keep them in check for the foreseeable future. The millions of Iranians who turned out across the country to mourn Suleimani also remind us that national pride and fear that the nation is under attack can temporarily bolster unity in Iran, just as in other countries.

Yet, all Iran's protests—whether targeted at corruption, a spiralling economy, suppression of personal freedoms, or at an unaccountable government that spends too much on foreign interventions and not enough at home—may begin to matter, particularly as it becomes harder to ask the public to endure hardships in the name of a revolution that fewer and fewer citizens are old enough to remember.

Carbon has a bad rep, but did you know it's a building block of life? As atoms evolved, carbon trapped in CO2 was freed, giving way to the creation of complex molecules that use photosynthesis to convert carbon to food. Soon after, plants, herbivores, and carnivores began populating the earth and the cycle of life began.

Learn more about how carbon created life on Earth in the second episode of Eni's Story of CO2 series.

On Tuesday night, you can finally watch Trump and Biden tangle on the debate stage. But you TOO can go head to head on debate night .. with your fellow US politics junkies.

Print out GZERO's handy debate BINGO cards and get ready to rumble. There are four different cards so that each player may have a unique board. Every time one of the candidates says one of these words or terms, X it on your card. First player to get five across wins. And if you really want to jazz it up, you can mark each of your words by taking a swig of your drink, or doing five burpees, or donating to your favorite charity or political candidate. Whatever gets you tipsy, in shape, or motivated, get the bingo cards here. It's fight night!

More Show less

GZERO Media, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Eurasia Group, today hosted its second virtual town hall on the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine and the challenges of its distribution.

The panel was moderated by New York Times science and health reporter Apoorva Mandavilli and featured Gates Foundation's Deputy Director of Vaccines & Human Immunobiology, Lynda Stuart; Eurasia Group's Rohitesh Dhawan, Managing Director of Energy, Climate & Resources; Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman; and Gayle E. Smith, the president & CEO of ONE Campaign and former Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Watch the full video above.

Mexico reckons with abortion rights: Scores of people joined protests in Mexico's capital on Monday, demanding the legalization of abortion in the majority Roman Catholic country. The demonstrations coincided with International Safe Abortion Day, which aims to ensure women around the world have access to safe sexual and reproductive health services. In Mexico, which has a female population of at least 65 million, the procedure is banned outside Mexico City and the southern state of Oaxaca (which moved to legalize the procedure last year), though it's legal in instances of rape. More than half of all pregnancies in Mexico are estimated to be unintended, leading many women to seek (botched) illegal abortions that often lead to complications requiring serious medical care. Protesters clashed with police — with some women even hurling Molotov cocktails — as confrontations became increasingly heated throughout the day. Many attendees were clad in green scarfs, which have become the symbol of the pro-choice movement in parts of Latin America in recent years. Some analysts say that the recent death of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, a women's right icon, has put renewed global focus on abortion rights — and women's rights more broadly.

More Show less

Join us today, September 29th, at 11 am ET for a GZERO Town Hall livestream event, Ending the COVID-19 Pandemic, to learn about the latest in the global hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Watch here at 11am ET: https://www.gzeromedia.com/events/town-hall-ending-the-covid-19-pandemic-livestream/

Our panel will discuss where things really stand on vaccine development, the political and economic challenges of distribution, and what societies need to be focused on until vaccine arrives in large scale. This event is the second in a series presented by GZERO Media in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Eurasia Group.

Apoorva Mandavilli, science & global health reporter for the New York Times, will moderate a conversation with:

  • Lynda Stuart, Deputy Director, Vaccines & Human Immunobiology, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Rohitesh Dhawan, Managing Director, Energy, Climate & Resources, Eurasia Group
  • Mark Suzman, CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Gayle E. Smith, President & CEO, ONE Campaign and former Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development

Add to Calendar


Sign up here to get alerts about future GZERO Media events.

UNGA banner

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's Newsletter: Signal