Iran's Supreme Leader accuses enemies of the Islamic Republic of stirring unrest across the country as a crackdown intensified against anti-government demonstrations that began last week. The 2017–18 Iranian Protests are a series of protests occurring throughout Iran. Beginning 28 December 2017 in Mashhad, Iran's second largest city by population, protests focused on the economic polices of the government of Iran; however, as protests spread throughout the country, their scope has expanded to include political opposition to the theocratic regime of Iran and its Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.
The protests mark the most intense domestic challenge to the Iranian government since the 2009 Iranian presidential election protests. However, these protests differ from the Green movement in participants, causes, goals, and chants. While some analysts suggest the protests are a result of unfavorable economic policies adopted by Iranian President Rouhani's administration, other analysts point to the population's high dissatisfaction with the theocratic regime and Supreme Leader as the actual cause of the unrest.
Protests turned violent in some parts of the country by attacking police stations, military and installations and burning cars and starting fires. As of 2 January 2018, at least twenty-one protesters and two security force members have been killed. Additionally, 550 demonstrators have been arrested.