Patrick J. Kennedy, a former U.S. Representative (D-RI), wrote an article for the Independent Journal Review in which he discusses the Iranian regime’s recent reactions to the opposition.
He said that on the 9th July people from all over the world including many political leaders gathered in Paris for the Free Iran rally. It provoked the “predictable ire” of the Iranian regime, he said. The regime that has killed approximately 120,000 political dissidents since 1981 with tens of thousands being put to death in the summer of 1988 alone.
Kennedy said that participants in the rally highlighted Iran’s “deteriorating domestic situation” which indicates the increased vulnerability of Tehran’s leadership. He said: “Just as MEK dissidents were executed in great numbers to compensate for the weakness shown in accepting the end of the war with Iraq, the current crackdown seems aimed at making the regime look strong, despite last summer’s compromise over nuclear negotiations and the lingering social effects of the 2009 popular uprisings.”
The regime is fearful for its future and Kennedy said “as with any insecure bully, that fear manifests as bluster”. The regime, for example, have provoked the West continuously - “the January seizure of 10 American sailors who had strayed into Iranian territorial waters, the five illicit ballistic missile tests that have taken place since the conclusion of last summer’s negotiations, and gestures of force in the Persian Gulf”.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps dispatched several patrol boats to follow an American warship through the Gulf as a reaction to the rally. Kennedy said that the regime will have used this incident as propaganda in the state media, just as they did with the images and video of the 10 sailors.
However, this propaganda is always contradicted by the Iranian Resistance who have international support. Kennedy points out that Prince Turki al-Faisal, an influential member of the Saudi royal family and former Saudi intelligence chief, turned the Free Iran rally into “a celebration of unprecedented Middle Eastern unity”.
Kennedy said: “The extraordinary foreign support removes any doubt that the Iranian resistance is an existential threat to the clerical regime. Moreover, the Saudi capacity to unify Arab nations behind the resistance explains why Iranian officials, including Brig. Gen. Ramazan Sharif, the Revolutionary Guards Spokesman, accused Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and other powerful Arab states of ‘flagrantly interfering in Iran’s internal affairs’. Such comments can only be seen as the desperate protests of a vulnerable regime.”