The scenes of protests and rallies in cities across Iran on Tuesday night are a major reminder. This regime is on thin ice.
Many cities became scenes of people using the national “Fire Festival” to stage anti-government protests. Tehran, Tabriz, Mashhad, Rasht, Ahvaz, Kermanshah, Sanandaj and many others became witness to such major acts of protests.
This proves Iran’s nation will not rest until they realize their ultimate objective of regime change.
Very telling is how state security forces remain on high alert in cities across the country, including Qom, central Iran, known as the Iranian regime’s hub where numerous seminaries are located.
Protests are continuing daily across the country. Marking International Women’s Day, several protesters outside the Labor Ministry in Tehran were demanding equal rights for women. Marginalized farmers east of Isfahan continue to protest authorities’ rerouting of river waters and destroying their agriculture products as a result. All the while strikes and protests continue to mushroom across the country.
Understanding the nation will continuously discover new methods to express their protests, Iran’s authorities have taken numerous precautions.
“State police is using 5,000 officers, 10 million accomplices, 1,100 traffic police vehicles, 27,000 special police patrols, installing 1,330 police trailers, 3,770 patrol vehicles, 2010 motorcycle patrols, 2,900 on-foot patrols, 1,700 temporary inspection centers, 104 permanent inspection centers and 30 helicopters,” according to Iran’s state police spokesperson in an interview with state TV.
The Supreme National Security Council, chaired by the so-called “moderate” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, most certainly adopts and approves such actions.
Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani depicts the road ahead best by indicating challenges lay ahead for the clerical regime.
What superficially began as a protest over poor living conditions quickly swelled into an uprising growing nationwide aiming to overthrow the Iranian regime in its entirety.
As proven again on Tuesday night, these protests can no longer classify as isolated incidents of unorganized nature. This grassroot movement is proving conditions will never be same following the uprising born on December 28th.
The driving force behind these protests, rapidly spreading to over 140 cities and towns through Iran, are women and the deprived social sectors.
Protesters have been chanting and writing in graffiti, ‘Death to Khamenei’ and ‘Death to Rouhani,’ formally referring to the regime’s supreme leader.
“Despite any ups and downs, the uprising will move on. The regime is incapable of stopping it. There are signs of alarm and concern even inside the IRGC and Bassij militia. The wall of fear has been cracked, and nothing including arrests, killings and torture can prevent the advancement of the protests to overthrow the regime,” Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi said back at a February session in Paris held by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
The stakes at hand are grave, to say the least. The West has finally begun to acknowledge the threats Iran poses for its Middle East neighbors through ballistic missiles and regional meddling.
It is time the entire international community realizes the undeniable fact that the Iranian people are demanding sweeping regime change.
Tuesday night’s protests also prove a direct link between the protests and the Iranian resistance movement, following a call made by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), the largest member of the NCRI coalition.
The NCRI is pioneering the struggle to realize regime change in Iran and that is what the people of Iran want. It is high time for the West to realize appeasement vis-à-vis Tehran is not welcome as protesters express their abhorrence of this clerical rule.
Known for blowing the whistle on Iran’s clandestine nuclear weapons program, the PMOI/MEK is the spearheading protest organization inside the country. Khamenei went public on January 9 acknowledging the PMOI’s leading role behind these protests.
The European Union and each member state should not only recognize the Iranian people’s legitimate demand for regime change, but to adopt effective measures aimed at compelling Tehran to release all recently arrested protesters, guarantee freedom of speech and assembly, end suppression targeting women and abolish laws imposing compulsory veil.
Iran’s regime is currently on shaky grounds.
As a result, the EU should refrain from any deals with companies and individuals affiliated to Iran’s crackdown apparatus, most specifically the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
As the people voice their demands ever so clearly, the future of political and economic relations with Tehran should hinge on the release of all political prisoners and an end to executions.
In line, it would be quite encouraging to witness the United Nations launch a commission missioned to investigate the arrests, disappearances and mysterious suicides of Iranian protestors while in custody.
Europe should jump on board with its Middle East allies and the United States in adopting a firm Iran policy. Silence in regards to Tehran’s unrestrained quelling of protestors simply seeking their God-given right of freedom is unacceptable.