The 2017–2018 Iranian protests refer to a series of public protests occurring in various cities throughout Iran beginning on 28 December 2017 and continuing into 2018. The first protest took place in Mashhad, Iran’s second-largest city by population, initially focused on the economic policies of the country’s government; however, as protests spread throughout the country, their scope expanded to include political opposition to the theocratic regime of Iran and its longtime Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. According to The Washington Post, protesters’ chants and attacks on government buildings upended a system that had little tolerance for dissent, with some demonstrators even shouting “Death to the dictator!” — referring to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — and asking security forces to join them. The protests mark the most intense domestic challenge to the Iranian government since the 2009 presidential election protests. However, these protests differ from the Green movement in participants, causes, goals, and chants. Unlike 2009, the 2017–2018 protests protests remain leaderless and disorganized. While some analysts suggest the protests are a result of unfavorable economic policies adopted by the administration of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, others say that dissatisfaction with the theocratic regime and the Supreme Leader are the actual causes of the unrest. Rouhani acknowledged on 8 January 2018 that “people had economic, political and social demands”. According to Iranian authorities, protests turned violent in some parts of the country, and Iranian state television reported that the protesters attacked police stations and military personnel and installations, and started fires. As of 2 January 2018, at least twenty-one protesters and two security force members had been killed. Additionally, 3,700 demonstrators were arrested according to Mahmoud Sadeghi, a reformist lawmaker from Tehran, though official figures were much lower. On 5 January 2018, four special rapporteurs of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights urged the Iranian government to acknowledge and respect rights of protesters and end its blocking of the Internet. In a backlash against the protests, thousands of government supporters staged pro-government rallies in more than a dozen cities across Iran. Even though there have already been economic protests in Iran in 2019, sources predict there will be more anti-government protests also in 2019.