The former Deputy Speaker of the Iranian Majlis parliament, Mohammad Reza Bahonar, says that Iranian government officials failing to "round up" protesters in November 2019 could have led the country toward unbridled chaos or a "velvet revolution."
In an interview published by the state-run Iran Labor News Agency (ILNA) on Monday, October 26, Bahonar expressed his satisfaction with Iranians who did not join the protesters and "watched" the events as bystanders. "They were worried about safety and lack of security," he said.
Bahonar, who is currently the Secretary-General of the Society of Islamic Engineers, also admitted that the people's unfulfilled demands have turned into "a powder keg" and sometimes needs a spark to explode.
Bahonar did not elaborate on how Iranian authorities succeeded in his mind in "rounding-up" the protesters.
In 2019, an overnight three-fold increase in gasoline prices triggered an unprecedented uprising by citizens against the Iranian establishment.
Beginning in Iran's second-largest city, Mashhad, the protests soon spread to more than 100 cities and 29 out of 31 provinces of the country.
In recent months, the Iranian judiciary has issued death sentences against several protesters detained during or after the uprising.
The death verdict against three young men, Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, and Mohammad Rajabi, triggered a series of protests inside and outside Iran, and the sentences were ultimately suspended under international pressure.