Mourners at a funeral for two slain protesters in Javanrud, Kermanshah Province, northwest Iran, November 2022 (Hengaw)

I joined Beverley O’Connor of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s The World on Thursday to analyze the 10-week nationwide protests in Iran and why they are persisting despite the regime’s attempt to crush them through mass detentions, cutoff of communications, and the killing of more than 400 people.

I discuss the significance of today’s urgent session of the UN Human Rights Council and a resolution for an investigation of the crackdown.

I consider the difference between these protests and those in 2009 after the disputed Presidential election.

This time the regime is finding it more difficult to suppress the protests because they don’t have leaders, a single political figure whom authorities can put away and take the steam out of the demonstrations.

See also Iran’s Hijab Protests Challenge Legitimacy of A Weakened Regime

I look at the significance of the cross-section of Iranians — from World Cup footballers to filmmakers to educators to lawyers — supporting the protests, and I evaluate if the regime could consider steps to dialogue with the protesters about the issue they are raising.

You have some within the regime who are thinking, “We have got to find some middle ground.” But you have others — especially in the Supreme Leader’s office — who think that any discussions with the protesters show weakness.

We also consider another possible crisis, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatening the renewal of cross-border military operations into northern Syria.