Opinion What’s happening in Iran? Here’s what people there are saying.

A protester in Istanbul holds a portrait of Mahsa Amini on Tuesday. Amini, 22, died after being arrested Sept. 13 in Tehran by the Islamic Republic's morality police after allegedly violating Iran's strict dress code for women. She was declared dead Sept. 16 by state television after having spent three days in a coma. (Photo by Ozan Kose/AFP via Getty Images)
A protester in Istanbul holds a portrait of Mahsa Amini on Tuesday. Amini, 22, died after being arrested Sept. 13 in Tehran by the Islamic Republic's morality police after allegedly violating Iran's strict dress code for women. She was declared dead Sept. 16 by state television after having spent three days in a coma. (Ozan Kose/AFP via Getty Images)

Every so often over the past quarter-century, analysts have predicted that Iran was on the cusp of major change. They always turned out to be wrong. Now, unrest is engulfing the country yet again.

Here are the threats the Islamic republic’s regime is facing, what people are saying — and why this time could be different. Some of the posts below contain graphic content.

Nationwide protests

Iran is being rocked by nationwide protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested in Tehran last week for the alleged crime of wearing an improper hijab. Amini had been taken into custody by a special police unit that enforces Iran’s obligatory Islamic dress codes. Images of her, bruised and on life support, spread on social media, and her name has become the latest rallying cry against the regime’s repression and misogyny. Women have largely powered the protests.

‘Death to the dictator’: Videos show growing protests in Iran

International legal trouble

Iran is also embroiled in some nasty fights at The Hague. Potentially most consequential is the complaint filed at the International Criminal Court by families the 176 people on board the Ukraine International Airlines flight that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps shot down in 2020. Plaintiffs want the incident investigated as a war crime.

Nuclear talks

Meanwhile, nuclear negotiations between Tehran and world powers have stalled. Again. With Iran’s economy long sputtering under the weight of sanctions, the value of the rial, Iran’s national currency, along with the nation’s spending power, has nosedived.

Hostages

And we cannot forget the four Americans held hostage in Tehran — and the resulting pressure to release them.

Look inside the life of a family whose husband and father is held hostage in Iran. A Post Opinions short film shows the ordeal to free him.

Raisi in the U.S.

Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, is accused of crimes against humanity for overseeing the execution of thousands of dissidents in 1988. His address at the U.N. General Assembly— like his “60 Minutes” interview aired Sunday, the first with a major American news program — was predictably tone-deaf. He also reneged on a planned interview with journalist Christiane Amanpour when she declined to wear a headscarf for the questioning.

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Supreme Leader death watch

Iran has faced crises before — and simultaneous ones. This time, though, the storm comes as Iran’s supreme leader since 1989, Ali Khamenei, appears increasingly frail. Recent reports of his imminent demise may have been premature, but at 83 years old, he likely does not have long to live. Could his regime’s days also be numbered?


More on Iran hostages

Look inside the life of a family whose husband and father is held hostage in Iran. “Bring Them Home,” a Post Opinions short film, shows the ordeal to free him:

When American Emad Shargi is taken hostage by Iran as a pawn in nuclear negotiations with the U.S., his wife and daughters must fight to free him. (Video: The Washington Post)
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