In Iran, "rage is escalating" as economic stress reaches new level

But a wider spectrum of society may have joined the revolt this time around, analysts say, pointing to demonstrations in major cities and at universities, including the University of Tehran. Protesters have also clashed with police in urban centers such as Isfahan, Mashhad, Shiraz and Tabriz…

In recent days, demonstrators angered by the fuel price hike have confronted security forces in at least 100 locations, surpassing the previous protests in ferocity and geographic scale. They burned banks and police stations, ransacked government buildings and blocked roads. Riot police responded with tear gas, water cannons and live fire, rights groups said. More than 100 demonstrators may have been killed, according to Amnesty International.

“The common thread between the 2017-2018 protests and those taking place today is the sense among many Iranians that the economy favors entrenched interests and that much of the nation’s wealth is not being spent on its people,” said Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, founder of Bourse & Bazaar, a website featuring economic analysis on Iran. “Iranian taxpayers are rightly wondering why they need to bear the brunt of fiscal reforms when entrenched interests continue to benefit from state funds while putting nothing back into the coffers.”