United States Needs to Act Faced With Rising Protests in Iran

by Azita Carlson

The new year has started with news of major anti-government protests and demonstrations being carried out across the Islamic Republic of Iran. The people are coming together to remind the government that the people are strong in numbers and are calling on the government to forget about its ambitions abroad and concentrate on its own people.

They are chanting: “Forget about Syria, think about us,” “Not Gaza, nor Lebanon, my life for Iran,” “Don’t be afraid, we are all together,” Death to (Hassan) Rouhani” and “Death to the dictator.” One would not be mistaken in thinking that these chants are similar to those used in revolutions.

Faced with the obvious anger of the people, the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, has been careful with his words. He has told the people that they are “free to protest” but he warned that they “must not jeopardize security”.

There is great hope that there will be regime change in the country as a result of these protests. However, the help of foreign governments must be provided to the people. There were major uprisings in Iran while both former presidents Bush and Obama were in office. There is a good chance that regime change could have been brought about as a result of one of these uprisings if the President of the United States had backed the people of Iran.

Bush and Obama just ignored the unrest in Iran. It is now President Trump’s chance to participate in making history. With his support, the people of Iran could overthrow the Iranian regime.

Many of the protests are being arranged and organised by the main Iranian opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). The opposition has an extensive network inside Iran and has played a big role in making sure that the regime’s crimes and malign activities are known to the international community.

The opposition is the most organised and viable alternative to the brutal ruling regime and it is certain that its determination will one day pay off. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

So far, the United States has condemned the arrest of Iranians that were participating in peaceful protests and the State Department called on “all nations” to support the people of Iran in their quest for “basic rights and an end to corruption”.

Trump also paid tribute to the brave people of Iran and confirmed that the “USA is watching very closely for human rights violations!”

Since the 2015 nuclear deal was signed, the lives of the Iranian people should have improved significantly. However, they have not benefited at all – only the corrupt Iranian government has. Trump said that the Iranian people are now “wise” to this and are angry that their wealth has been “stolen and squandered on terrorism”.

More pressure from the United States and other nations will put the Iranian regime in an impossible position and the people will finally have their chance to be free and enjoy the human rights that many of us take for granted.