It’s two years since the first of the most significant protests in post Revolution history in Iran. The people of Iran came out on the streets to demand regime change. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran) said that it’s now a tie for the international community to support their desire to replace the mullahs’ dictatorship with a free and democratic Iran.
In the December 2017-January 2018 and November 2019 protests, the people of Iran have demanded the overthrow of this regime. And they will fulfill this demand soon.
— Women's Committee NCRI (@womenncri) November 1, 2020
The December 2018 protests began in the northeastern city of Mashhad. As with so many other protests since the people showed their resentment at the regime’s incompetence and harsh repressive measures. At each mass protest since, Iranians have shown their desire for a society where inflation, corruption, and poverty are tackled rather than be entrenched.
These protests often start because of an economic trigger, but soon escalate and become political. Rather than try and create a dialogue or solve problems, the regime resorts to violent and brutal repression.
In 2018, the uprising was quashed through the slaughter of protesters and the arrest of many more. Arrests are followed by torture and often executions, like that of Mostafa Salehi, the latest martyr of the 2018 uprising.
August 5, regime hanged Mostafa Salehi, a prisoner of January 2018 uprising, in Isfahan Province. Prosecutor of Najafabad (Isfahan Province) on September 2018: “He has not made any confession. We made the conclusion based on circumstantial evidence”. #StopExecutionsInIran #Iran pic.twitter.com/WD6bbyV8jG
— Shahin Gobadi (@gobadi) August 8, 2020
Protesters show their resentment and anger when they shout slogans like: “Reformist, hardliner, the game is over” and “Death to the Dictator.”
December 2018 was followed by more protests, with the November 2019 protests the largest so far. Protesters, again and again, took to the streets, shouting slogans and rejecting whatever factions there are in government.
The November 2019 protests again started because of economic mismanagement and untimely decision making. Protesters were again met by volleys of bullets and batons. 1,500 protesters were killed and 12,000 arrested.
The brutality of the repression meted out was confirmed by Amnesty International which published shocking statistics of killings.
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.
So-called moderates and reformers within the regime were quick to show their colors by calling for the protesters to be stopped in their tracks by whatever means.
Both President Hassan Rouhani and Mohammad Javad Zarif called the protesters “rioters” in an attempt to dilute the political significance of the uprising.
Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, was nearer the mark when he acknowledged the role of the Iranian Resistance in the protests, saying they had been organized well in advance.
STATE SPONSORED TERRORISM
The regime hasn’t been slow to use its terror tactics outside of its own borders. It used diplomat-cum-terrorist, Assadollah Assadi, to bomb the regular annual Free Iran rally near Paris in France organized by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and (PMOI / MEK Iran).
Assadi was caught and arrested together with his three accomplices before they could accomplish their target of bombing the rally and the leaders of the (NCRI).
The failed bomb attack had been planned and organized by Zarif and others within the regime.
Iranians have known all along that their real enemy is the regime and are determined to get rid of it. The regime knows its fate is sealed if the protests get bigger and bigger and will d whatever they can to stop them.
Mismanagement and corruption
The underlying factors which precipitate the series of protests are rooted in the disastrous mismanagement of the economy and the corruption within the regime that prevents it from handling each successive social crisis such as the pandemic.
The rate of inflation in Iran has been estimated to be near 100% by Steve Hanke, a Professor of Applied Economics at Johns Hopkins University.
The Iranian #rial has remained rock steady since early September, hovering near 115,000 USD/Rial for almost two months. @HassanRouhani is right. #Iran’s defenses against sanctions seem to be working. pic.twitter.com/SXiYHckUr9
— Prof. Steve Hanke (@steve_hanke) October 22, 2019
State-run media within Iran has given warnings about the trajectory of the situation in Iran. For example, the Siyasat-e Rouz, a state-run paper said “the 26.2% increase in poultry prices, 13% increase in the price of meat, and 9.2% increase in rice prices indicate what other than authorities’ economic mismanagement in stabilizing the country and resolving people’s economic issues?”
The state-run daily, Sharq, also warned regime officials when it said: “in Iranian society, due to the weakness of the media apparatus and the decline of public trust, groups have been formed which play the role of both news centers and encourage them to change their behavior and actions.
These virtual groups are sowing the seeds of hatred and violence, and if there is no timely cure for the incident, there will be severe storms with social and political conflicts.”
With these clear signals of rumbling, underlying unrest within Iran, and a clear alternative government waiting in the wings, it is high time for the international community to respond and support the Iranian people and the resistance movement which represents it. The regime has shown that it is incapable of reform.