Protests in Iran are part of a ‘long, almost Sisyphean, struggle’ for freedom and equality, Stanford scholar says

Abbas Milani, founding director of Stanford’s Iranian Studies Program, discusses how the most recent protests sweeping cities and villages across Iran are part of an enduring fight to advance women’s rights and equality.
Iran Photographs of murdered Iranian dissidents are displayed by protesters outside of the United Nations in New York City.

Across Iran, protests have erupted over the killing of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who died in police custody after being apprehended for not wearing her hijab correctly.

The protestors’ bold acts of defiance against Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the regime he represents are part of a long struggle for democracy, sovereignty, and independence among people in Iran, said Abbas Milani, the director of the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Program in Iranian Studies.

Here, Milani, whose scholarship examines U.S.-Iran relations as well as Iranian cultural, political, and security issues, discusses how Iranians have been fighting for freedom and equality for almost 150 years and how Amini’s death is the latest centerpiece in that push for independence.