The demonstrators in Iran mobilised against everything from the government to the economic woes of the country. Gradually, across the country, anti-government protestors turned to the same target: a wealthy elite that has reaped the benefits of a top-down theocratic regime.
At least a part of this seems to have been spurred by a new openness from Iranian millennials, who hardly keep their wealth a secret, especially in the age of social media.
“When the occasional Maserati roars through the crowded streets of Tehran, past crowded buses and shabby domestic sedans, pedestrians sometimes unleash streams of curses in its wake,” Shashank Bengali and Ramin Mostaghim write in the Los Angeles Times.
The LA Times used the popular ‘Rich Kids of Tehran’ Instagram account as an example, where ‘attractive 20-somethings flaunt $1,000 Hermes sandals and frolic poolside at lavish mansions in a capital where, perhaps in another part of town, the desperate hawk their own kidneys to feed their families.’ As Iranian journalist Amir Ahmadi Arian puts it in an op-ed for the New York Times, “Wealthy young Iranians act like a new aristocratic class unaware of the sources of their wealth.”
“They brazenly drive Porsches and Maseratis through the streets of Tehran before the eyes of the poor and post about their wealth on Instagram,” Arian writes.
The inequalities majority of the protestors face has been building up for the past decade, and seemed to finally reach a breaking point, especially after President Hassan Rouhani introduced an austerity budget.
While the working class protesters have shouted “Death to Rouhani” and “Death to the dictator,” the Rich Kids of Tehran Twitter account has been very supportive of Rouhani and the Iranian government in the past.
Check out some of the rich kids of Iran that have become a driving force for the protests:
The wealthy of Iran have no problem flaunting their money around.
Many photos prominently feature gifts that are usually expensive cars.
Followed up by photos of kids taking those cars out for a drive.
Mansions are shown off in all their extravagance.
As are clothes. Louboutin sneakers?
Travel is a large part of the Rich Kids of Tehran Instagram page.
And, of course, there are selfie sticks.
Pictures of the elite enjoying traditional Iranian activities like hookah in luxury settings are common.
The wealthy kids travel abroad to music festivals but still proudly represent their country.
Luxury vacations are shown off.
Expensive cars that roar down the street everyday are a common annoyance for those who can’t even dream of affording one.
The rich kids enjoy accommodations that the vast majority of Iranians likely won’t get the chance to see.
Saman Ghasemzadeh is one of the more famous Iranian Instagram stars, with hundreds of thousands of followers.
You can watch him go jewellery shopping.
There’s a whole social group of Instagram users who have achieved some internet notoriety for their style.
Check out a recent birthday party they all attended. The cars, the house, and the clothes are definitely not what a typical Iranian could afford.
The Rich Kids of Tehran are proud to announce when they are coming home.