Last November demonstrations that rocked Iran were the biggest seen since the regime took control in 1979. This time those who participated were from unlikely strongholds of the regime. In December 2017 and in November 2019 the main reasons for the protests were due to the regime’s mismanagement and lack of concern for its people. One was directly related to the drastic increase in gasoline prices.
These uprisings, in the end, were not just economic but began to focus more on the overall discontent of the people. Some of the slogans heard at these gatherings were “death to the dictator” and “hardliners, reformists: the game is over.”
Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook: “The @Reuters report on the massacre ordered by @khamenei_ir underscores the urgency for the international community to punish the perpetrators and isolate the regime for the murder of 1,500 Iranian citizens.” https://t.co/TpUncLjDcv
— Department of State (@StateDept) December 23, 2019
The MEK’s involvement in the uprisings
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), has been the main face of opposition in and outside of Iran since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. They have been involved in recent large uprisings and protests such as the January 2018 protests, the November 2019 protests, and the January 2020 protests as acknowledged recently by the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei himself.
It is only in the last few years that the regime has openly mentioned that the (PMOI / MEK Iran) has been increasing its influence in Iran. It thought it had eliminated the threat of the resistance movement when it slaughtered 30,000 political prisoners, mostly (PMOI / MEK Iran) members in 1988.
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei spoke to the young men about the PMOI #MEK #Iran and his concerns about the opposition group. He warned that the regime needs to be “careful about the enemy recruiting members of our young society”.https://t.co/Ez238fMSxZ#Iranian @USAdarFarsi pic.twitter.com/gUpnkHwzAZ
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) May 20, 2020
The regime has been forced to acknowledge that the resistance movement would never have existed and thrived without a very well organized leadership. The president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) is Mrs. Maryam Rajavi.
Mrs. Rajavi has devised a 10 point plan for Iran’s future. The plan aims to create a democratic Iran with safeguards for minorities and women, the separation of state and religion, and an abandonment of any nuclear weapon development. The plan identifies Iran as a future member of the group of western democracies. It also acts as a vision for Iranians who aspire for a regime change.
our vision for Iran's future is separation of church and state. Religion is for the ppl's beliefs, not for the government .
As @kroneage mentioned, you should check out Ms. Rajavi's 10 point plan #IStandWithMaryamRajavi #مريم_رجوى pic.twitter.com/9fH6W5Owya
— Mahya Saber (@mahya_saber) July 24, 2020
The regime knows full well that the NCRI and MEK’s aims are attractive to people in Iran and understand that they are living on borrowed time unless they use brutal repression to suppress any sign of dissent in Iran and seek out their enemies outside of Iran to try and eliminate them.
Ahmad Khatami, the Friday prayer leader for Tehran, showed how the regime was going to deal with the November 19 uprising soon after the protests started. “I say to the Judiciary: the first thing is that judicial officials must hand down the ultimate punishment to the organizers and leaders,” he said. The result was the gunning down of 1,500 protesters by state security forces and the IRGC and the arrest of thousands more.
Reuters confirmed in a special report on December 23, 2019, about the deadly crackdown on November nationwide protests in Iran the death toll of 1500 that was announced by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran) on December 15, 2019.
Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK Iran/PMOI) said yesterday that there have been at least 1500 killed in #IranProtests in #Iran which began on 15 November 2019. #MEK Iran also released the names of 504 slain protesters.https://t.co/m9jsCDZTWC@USAdarFarsi #StopIranBloodshed pic.twitter.com/GwEFjWgYB6
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) December 16, 2019
Despite the extremely harsh, brutal methods used continually by the regime against any form of dissent, the Iranian opposition, the NCRI, and MEK have been swimming against the tide in its attempt to alert international authorities to what is happening in Iran. One of the only international news reports was when the Iranian champion wrestler, Navid Afkari, was executed in Iran in September this year. There had been a huge international appeal mounted to spare Afkari’s life, but unfortunately, the regime didn’t listen, intent as it was on showing how it would crush dissent.
Navid Afkari had been jailed because of his involvement in a protest in 2018. He was eventually sentenced to death and executed quite quickly despite the attempts by international and Iranian human rights organizations for the death sentence to be overturned. The regime probably knew that any closer international scrutiny of the so-called “evidence” that the judiciary had on Afkari’s alleged crime of murder would never have stacked up.
The mullahs’ regime executed political prisoner #NavidAfkari after torturing him and obtaining forced confessions. His death sentence was carried out despite a global campaign calling to spare Afkari’s life.#MEK #Iran https://t.co/UkxW6nsmWe #FreeIran2020 pic.twitter.com/Id5JtyhQQn
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) September 12, 2020
It seems hardly credible that the world would turn a blind eye to the actions of the Iranian regime, the executions, torture, intimidation, and mass slaughter, but nothing was ever done about the 1988 mass slaughter in Iran and international authorities have ever called for those responsible for the atrocities to be brought to justice.
Appeasement by, in particular, European governments, is not likely to lead to moderation by the Iranian regime. Unfortunately, it will only encourage them to believe they can do anything they like in Iran against dissenters with impunity. The world will only be safer when the Iranian democratic opposition movement is embraced and the mullahs’ regime is replaced.
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) August 14, 2020