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Iranian protesters take to the streets for 2nd day amid rising discontent

Protests continue across Iran

The Iranian protesters have been marching on the streets nationwide for the second straight day. They are pushed by tough living conditions, soaring prices, corruption and political deadlock. 

The chants are sharp and loud. They want the removal of the entire regime.

Experts say the ongoing protests may pick up steam in the coming days. They also argue that these protests are the most powerful since the Green Revolution, where people to the streets in bulk to protest rigging the presidential elections in favor of the hardliner candidate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 

"The people are in abject poverty. They cannot win their own bread. And the regime cares only for the terrorist gangs operating beyond borders," they added. 

Anger unfolding 

The recent economic measures enforced by the government added insult to injury. They exacerbated the suffering of the people. 

"There are plans to lift financial subsidy offered for millions of Iranians. Prices of energy are also on the rise. Negligence is hitting the country's domestic sectors hard," the experts noted. 

Others said these protests are extraordinary, they target Khamenei himself. 

"It is not a matter of factional demands of a narrow scope. The people want the entire system of governance to be overturned," they continued. 

Protesters lashed out at major officials leading the regime, including President Hassan Rouhani, head of the judiciary Sadeq Larijani and speaker of parliament Ali Larijani. 

Mashhad in the lead

Protests were more remarkable in Mashhad. Reports say over 10,000 protesters took to the streets on the first day of protests in the city. 

Videos posted to social media platforms showed thousands of Iranians marching on the streets in Nishapur, Kashmir and Berjand in Khorasan province.

The editor-in-chief of the reformist news network Nazar, Payam Parhiz, wrote on Twitter that it was not clear what person or group organised the protest in Mashhad.

However, he noted that a call for "No to high prices" protests had been circulated on the messaging app Telegram.

Large numbers are reported to have turned out in Rasht, in the north, and Kermanshar, in the west, with smaller protests in Shiraz, Isfahan and Hamadan.

The protests began against rising prices but have spiralled into a general outcry against clerical rule.

There were also chants in Mashhad of "not Gaza, not Lebanon, my life for Iran", a reference to what protesters say is the administration's focus on foreign policy rather than domestic issues.

Unheeded demands 

Tehran's representatives in the Iranian parliament Mahmoud Sadeqi criticized the method of tackling the protests. 

On Twitter, he wrote:"The popular gatherings in Tehran and other cities came due to the government's failure to administer the affairs of the nation."

He added:"Instead of lulling the situation and allaying the people's worries, the regime resorted to repression in bid to quell the protests."

Commentators said the regime is facing major challenges amid these swelling protests. 
"This time, things seem to be largely different. People are on the street in bulk. And they have dared to chant against Khamenei himself."