Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, Johannah Moore, Amin Soltani, and Frederick W. Kagan:
Mass protester arrests and detentions are likely impacting protest turnout.An anti-regime Iranian human rights organization estimated in November that over 18,000 Iranians had been arrested for acts of dissidence since the Mahsa Amini protest wave commenced on September 16. The regime has repeatedly promoted the arrest of individuals it claims to be protest organizers as well. The Qom Province IRGC Intelligence Organization announced on December 8 that it had arrested leaders of an anti-regime protest organization that was active on social media, for example. The arrest of protesters—particularly within key nodes of protest organizations—may have resulted in lower turnout for anti-regime demonstrations planned for December 5-7. Significant strike activity documented on these dates suggests that protest organizers are still capable of coordinating widespread acts of anti-regime defiance, however.