The government may not be able to afford to execute protestors.
A teenage dissident trailed behind a group of smugglers in the borderlands of western Iran. For three days, Rezan trekked a rocky mountain range and walked through minefields along a winding path forged by seasoned smugglers to circumnavigate the country’s heavily armed Revolutionary Guards. It was a trip too dangerous for respite of much more than a few stolen moments at a time.
After the revolution, the US and its allies imposed harsh sanctions on Iran that continue to this day and are piled up almost daily. The pressure, however, not only did not topple the nezam, it helped to prolong its life. The IR effectively used this hostility to its own benefit. Any objection to its rule is treated as a foreign conspiracy, and dissidents are labeled as stooges or spies of the US and its allies, particularly Israel.