Iran’s crippled economy backs protests after religious police set fire


TEHRAN—The

The protests that have gripped Iran for three weeks started on a bandwagon but are morphing into a broader movement fueled by middle-class anger over the country’s collapsing economy.

Iran’s large urban middle class has mainly driven the protests in dozens of cities since the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman detained for allegedly breaking the country’s strict dress code. Curated by word of mouth and amplified on social media, their complaints quickly escalated from women’s rights to demands for an end to the country’s Islamic governance system, which controls all aspects of society.

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