As protests on the streets of Iran continue, the so-called Islamic Republic is going after one of its high-profile athletes. An Iranian former soccer legend, Ali Daei, had his flight redirected mid-air as he was traveling to Dubai with his family. According to local reports, Iranian authorities are barring them and other high-profile figures from leaving the country over their outspoken support for widespread protests on the ground.
It’s been over a hundred days now since crowds like these flooded the streets of Iran. The protests were sparked in part by the death of Mahsa Amini, the woman who died in police custody.
It’s being called one of the largest anti-government demonstrations Iran has seen since the 1979 Islamic Revolution which brought clerics into power. Human rights organizations say at least 500 people have been killed in these protests. And more than 18,000 have been arrested so far.
The Iranian regime has also executed at least two people involved in the protests, sparking further condemnation by human rights groups.
While polling shows a significant fraction of Iran supports regime change, experts disagree as to whether Iran is in a position to effect that at this moment amid economic tensions. What is clear is that these protests have fundamentally changed the relationship between the state and the Iranian people.