It's reported the protests are focused on deteriorating economic conditions and corruption in the Islamic Republic. Demonstrators have gathered in a number of cities, including Tehran, the holy city of Qom, Isfahan, Kermanshah, Rasht, Sari, and Hamedan.
While average Iranians undoubtedly suffer as a result of the policies and actions of a highly centralized religious government, we must ask if the latest round of anti-government activity is part of a foreign effort to destabilize the country by exploiting discontent with the country's leadership.
In June, we learned that the Trump administration is behind an effort by Saudi Arabia and the UAE to topple the government in Tehran. This shouldn't come as a surprise. The Trump administration includes a number of hardliners on Iran, most notably Defense Secretary James Mattis, National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster, and Trump's CIA director, Mike Pompeo.