A fresh wave of anti-government protests has erupted throughout Iran over the weekend in a development that has stunned international observers and reinvigorated domestic opponents to the Islamic Republic. As the ruling regime in Tehran sought to reassert its credibility in the wake of the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, people in cities across the country took the streets  to express their anger at a the government, which has now admitted that it was responsible for the deaths of the 176 civilian passengers aboard Ukrainian Airlines flight PS752, most of whom were Iranians and Iranian-Canadians.

The apparent change in the political atmosphere of the country over the last few days has been extraordinary. Only a week after the funeral of Soleimani, which saw the streets of the capital filled with those rallying round the regime, the cries of impassioned crowds from Tehran to Isfahan can now be heard chanting “Down with the dictator!”. This is not how things were supposed to play out.