On Day 74 of the widespread demonstrations, Iranian students and protesters demonstrated in solidarity with a young woman who was blinded by security forces in Bandar Abbas, southern Iran. On November 15, 2022, Ghazal Ranjkesh, a law student, was shot in the eye while returning home with her mother.
For the seventh time since the start of the nationwide Iranian uprising in September, the clerical regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has rushed to the scene to boost the morale of its demoralized Basij forces, who have reached an impasse in the face of the people’s unwavering determination to see a regime change.
The national uprising of the Iranian people was supported by a bipartisan panel of distinguished Canadian lawmakers on Tuesday, November 22. Additionally, they supported the organized Resistance movement, which is widely regarded as having been a major force in Iran’s democratic revolution.
Most politicians, particularly those who wrote and advertised in support of the regime, believed that, as in the past, the regime would be able to put down the protests, if not immediately, then within a short period of time. Despite the regime’s tricks, conspiracies, repression, and killings, the people were able to endure them. In that sense, we are now witnessing a new revolution rather than scattered protests.
To gain a better understanding of the outcome of people’s resistance, we should look at two recent historical events that depict the outcomes of resistance.
Russia launched an attack on Ukrainian territory in February 2022. Despite the obvious condemnations, many Western politicians initially believed that this occupation could be overlooked within the context of global power dynamics.
As a result, the US government offered assistance to Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, and his family in leaving the country and seeking refuge in another country. Zelensky, who refused to surrender, rejected this offer and instead requested that the World powers provide him and his country with weapons so that they could confront the occupiers.
Because of the president of Ukraine’s stance, the entire country decided to support him in his fight. From that point forward, the situation shifted in favour of the Ukrainian people. After 8 months, Russia has been pushed further back and is now globally isolated, while Ukraine is on the verge of victory.
Another case in point is the situation of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK) following the US army’s occupation of Iraq in 2003. The MEK, which has spent years on the border between Iran and Iraq, has witnessed a highly complicated military and political situation.
From one side, coalition forces bombarded and disarmed them as part of a soft dismantlement policy, and from the other, they became involved with an Iraqi government that was an accomplice of the Iranian regime.
Meanwhile, the MEK had only a few options: surrender, contemplate dissolution, or maintain resistance at all costs. With more than 70 days of resistance against the tyrannical regime, the Iranian people have chosen the same path. The path of least resistance at any cost. They have surprised and awed people all over the world.
Because of public opinion pressure and the people’s ongoing resistance, world powers that were unwilling to leave the negotiating table and abandon concessions to the regime have been forced to reconsider their past.
The situation in Iran has now reached a point where Europe and other partners are declaring that nuclear negotiations with the regime are no longer priorities. Furthermore, the world powers are imposing more sanctions on the mullahs’ regime with each passing day.
All of these results are solely the result of the Iranian people’s organized resistance over the course of more than four decades, which has culminated in the protests and uprisings that have occurred across the country, resulting in more than 600 martyrs, 30,000 arrests, and tens of thousands of civilian injuries. Despite the disasters, Iran’s brave men, women, and youths are entering the second month of their uprising toward a democratic republic.
We are now in the 9th week of the Iranian uprising. Is it possible for the Iranian regime to give up and stand down if the protests continue?
The final outcome of the uprisings may seem uncertain. But what is clear and tangible at this moment is that the regime has failed to quash or at least control the situation. And it is not as if Tehran hasn’t tried. The highest authorities, including the duo of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the Commander-in-Chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Hossein Salami, have on several occasions bluntly threatened protesters to return home. The fact that the protesters have not backed down is not only embarrassing for the regime, but it reveals Tehran’s fundamental cracks and weaknesses.
The IRGC and Basij forces use violent forces to prevent demonstrations. Will this affect the protests in Iran, and will they be able to push the protesters back?
So far, despite the IRGC’s heavy crackdown, the protests have persisted. This is while, according to classified information obtained by the Iranian Resistance, Salami and other senior commanders of the IRGC are leading the regime’s response. Yet protests have impacted at least 252 cities. Despite the heavy cost of participating in street protests – thus far over 660 people have been killed and more than 30,000 have been arrested – young people are unfazed and women continue to lead the uprising.
Can we see the return of the Iran nuclear agreement?
Even in the heyday of Western hopes for a return to the deal, Tehran was deliberately blocking it and using delay tactics, indicating that it is not serious about a mutually successful outcome.
In 2017, German intelligence said that even when the US was still part of the JCPOA, the regime attempted more than 100 times to obtain illicit nuclear technology. The Iranian Resistance has also revealed the regime’s bomb-seeking activities on multiple occasions, including ongoing research and development activities at the Parchin military site in 2017, out of reach of IAEA inspectors.
Today, with the ongoing unrest in Iran and the international public opinion shifting to the plight of the Iranian people for democracy, it has become even more untenable for western powers to pursue a deal with the devil.
Can Iran’s economic crisis with demonstrations help to take things out of the regime’s control?
According to official stats, more than two-thirds of the population live in abject poverty, and the inflation rate is skyrocketing. At the bottom of the simmering unrest is deep public antipathy toward decades of economic mismanagement, institutionalized corruption, deepening social crises, and suppression in almost every sphere of society. In these circumstances, the regime will certainly lose control. It is only a matter of time.
Will more sanctions be applied against the Iranian regime, especially after not reaching solutions to restore the nuclear agreement?
Indeed, it is imperative to reinstate the six suspended UN Security Council resolutions related to sanctions on the Iranian regime. But sanctions aren’t enough. History has shown time and again that the right policy to deal with the Iranian regime is not leniency and dialogue, but firmness and decisiveness. Western capitals must be alive to this reality.
The clerical regime is both the world’s leading perpetrator of domestic violence against women and the world’s leading executioner of women. Aside from child marriages, which were already common in Iran, the country saw an increase in honor killings and femicides. Mona Heydari’s heinous murder on February 5, 2022, drew international attention to Iranian women’s injustice and violence.
It also drew attention to the fact that misogyny and a patriarchal culture that has been institutionalized in laws and, as a result, in society are at the root of Iran’s tragic rise in honor killings. However, thanks to the public outrage and protests that followed the arbitrary murder of Mahsa Amini, the world is getting a sense of state-sponsored violence against Iranian women and what it truly means this year.
On September 13, 2022, vice patrols stopped Mahsa Amini and her brother on the street in Tehran. Mahsa refused to cooperate despite the Morality Police’s warning. The patrols summoned their superior, and with brute force, they pushed her into a van.
According to some, the police chief slapped her so hard that she collapsed and hit her head on a curb stone. Others claim she was beaten with batons repeatedly to the head in the van.
Two hours later, she was placed in a coma and taken to Kasra Hospital. According to CT scans later revealed by hospital staff, her skull had fractured and she had suffered a brain hemorrhage.
Mahsa died tragically on September 16, 2022. Her name, however, became a code for Iranian women and youths calling for the regime’s overthrow.
Protests erupted in response to the event, which has since spread to at least 252 cities. During the first 70 days of the nationwide uprising, the Iranian regime’s security forces and the IRGC killed at least 660 people. The names of 528 people who gave their lives for Iran’s freedom have been obtained and published by the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
An estimated 30,000 men and women, the majority of whom are under the age of 25, have been arrested and detained in inhumane conditions in overcrowded prisons. They are being tortured in order to make false confessions.
Many of the women on this list have been killed as a result of vicious beatings and heavy blows to the head.
On Saturday, the 72nd day of the Iranian uprising, people across the country joined in solidarity with their brave Kurdish compatriots in the west and northwest, as well as the Baluchi community in southeast Iran.
On the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, we take a look back at what has happened to women in Iran since November 25, 2021. In addition to child marriages, which were already widespread in Iran, the country witnessed an increase in honor killings and femicides. Mona Heydari’s horrific murder on February 5, 2022, drew international attention to the injustice and violence against Iranian women.
The UN Human Rights Council decided on Thursday to launch a new investigation mission to look into how Iran has addressed the massive protests that have rocked the nation since September. As part of the crackdown on dissent, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights condemned the killing of protesters and the lack of accountability for perpetrators of atrocities against the people.
On Friday, November 25, the 71st day of the nationwide uprising, people staged protests after Friday prayers in Zahedan and other cities in Sistan and Baluchistan province including Khash, Chabahar, Saravan, Zahak, Taftan, Iranshahr, and Pishin. They chanted, “Death to Khamenei,” “Death to IRGC,” “Kurdistan, Kurdistan, we support you,” “Mullahs must get lost,” “Kurds and Baluchis are brothers, want the Leader (Khamenei) killed,” “Basij, IRGC you are the same ISIS.”
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) November 25, 2022
The regime’s repressive forces opened fire on demonstrators in Zahedan, Khash, and some other cities, which left dozens killed or wounded, according to local sources. Some of the injured are in critical condition. Some of the injured were transferred to the Clinic of Makki Mosque and Amir al-Momenin Hospital in Zahedan.
Suppressive forces were deployed in various parts of Zahedan, including Bazaar Moshtarek, where they opened fire at people. In Khash, suppressive forces and Special Unit agents, armed with heavy machineguns, opened fire on demonstrators injuring many of them. In Zahedan and Khash, angry Baluch youths blocked streets by lighting fire. Demonstrators in Taftan chanted, “I will kill whoever killed my brother,” and “I will kill whoever killed my sister.”
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) November 25, 2022
On Friday morning, the funeral ceremony of Shomal Khadiripour was held in Mahabad. 32-year-old Shomal from Mahabad was shot and wounded on Thursday, November 24, and died in a hospital in Urmia. His body was taken to Mahabad under the control of security forces. They prevented mass participation in the ceremony, but those who attended chanted slogans against Khamenei and shouted “Martyr never dies.”
Once again, today, our brave Baluch compatriots took to the streets of #Zahedan, #Khash, Iranshahr, Chabahar, Pishin, … With chants of “Death to Khamenei,” “Bassij, IRGC, you are our ISIS,” and “We support Kurdistan,” they challenged the brutal revolutionary guards. pic.twitter.com/Q4kbBMVC0S
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), saluted the determination of the brave Baluchis who took to the streets today again and confronted savage guards. She said that protesters demonstrated that they are ready to pay every price to achieve a free and democratic Iran. She called on youths to rush to the aid of Baluchis, especially the wounded.