It appears that we might have a revolution on our hands. Not like the Syrian revolution that was engineered by the Iranians but a true blue revolt of the peasants, in Iran. One of my favorite authors, John Ringo has a few words on the subject here.
I am not the expert on Iran, but I did live there upon a time and have remained interested. At the very least I know many of the cities being mentioned on the news without looking at a map. (Right wing and foreign news, at least. The American MSM is studiously searching for a white truck. One very good source is Alarabiya English version.)
Herewith some thoughts.
Mashad is an interesting place for the protests to break out to the point of being Bizarre.
How to describe Mashad? Basically, it's the Pittsburgh (or what Pittsburgh once was) of Iran. Something of a trade nexus, (it was part of the Silk Road but so were most of the cities in the region) it is the bluest of blue collar Iranian cities. Which gets to why it's so bizarre.
The mullahs came to power on the backs of the 'blue collar' of Iran. This is generally defined as the 'rural poor' and, yes, that's true. But it's more along the lines of 'the deplorables.' Any group which was generally lower economic and educational class as well as generally socially conservative. (The two tend to combine virtually everywhere and in all times.)
But the revolution did not start out as a blue-collar endeavor. The 1979 revolution was very much a socialist revolt, sponsored and paid for by the Soviet Union in an attempt to flip Iran to communist side on the Risk board.
The mullahs simply co-opted the revolution then hanged all the socialists who started it. They managed that by out-numbering them with the ‘blue-collar’ and ‘rural poor’. (‘Deplorables’ IOW.)There's quite a bit more at the link.
It was only a matter of time before the people revolted against the strict and ridiculously stupid religious leaders. One thing you might now reconsider as we watch Iran embark on the revolution against the religious is how this is going to play out in the Kingdom. The Crown Prince has taken some extreme and drastic steps to re-align the Kingdom with modernity and ease the clerics and mutawa out of sight and hopefully out of power entirely. He clearly saw what was laid bare in Syria and Iraq and Iran and Yemen and wants to be ready for the coming revolution of the shia.
To paraphrase an old saying: Oh my King, the people are restless. Why do you spend so much money on your armies and weapons since this causes unrest? And the King replied, "Exactly! Come the revolution and I'll be ready!"