The Biggest Problem Facing Iran
A recent article written by Hossein Abedini published on ncri-iran.org discussed the reasons for the weakness of the Iranian regime. Mr. Abedini a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, in his article, detailed the issues currently facing the Iranian regime and emphasized that the Iranian regime is at a 39-year low, and many experts attribute its weakness to the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, along with a variety of other issues; however, upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that the most serious issues facing Tehran lies within its own borders.
According to Abedini, the theocratic dictatorship in Iran is currently being challenged by mass strikes and protests from almost every sector of Iranian society.
The widespread uprising in Iran began last December and spread to over 140 cities across Iran within a two week period. The poorer classes played an especially active role, and, according to Abedini, regime officials dubbed the uprisings by the poor “the hungry rebellions.” The uprising destroyed the regime’s false narrative that it enjoyed the support of the millions of Iranians living below the poverty line. Six months later, protests continue on a daily basis, and the middle class has joined the movement for regime change. The Supreme Leader’s power has been challenged and is beginning to crumble.
Abedini states that the reason for this loss of authority is both because economic and human rights issues have worsened and because the regime has no plan to address these pressing concerns. According to Abedini, Rouhani’s government is full of corruption and incompetence and is incapable of fulfilling the demands being made by the people to address basic and reasonable issues.
Abedini writes that the regime is more vulnerable than it has ever been, with a skyrocketing unemployment rate, a rapidly devaluing national currency, and workers’ salaries going unpaid.
According to Abedini, the regime is in such a vulnerable state that its own National Security Council has warned it about the “army of hungry rebellions.” But Abedini says that the larger challenges to the regime are ones that the regime refuses to address: freedom of expression and women’s rights.
The long-standing argument of so-called Iran “experts” and proponents of appeasement has been that the people of Iran do not want regime change. Abedini argues that it is becoming impossible to make that argument, though, as the people of Iran continue to protest on the streets and on the Internet for the overthrow of the regime, despite the brutal response from Tehran.
According to Abedini, that is the reason that even non-political strikes and protests often become anti-regime protests. Recently, a nationwide truck drivers’ strike mutated into a series of anti-regime protests.
Supreme Leader Khamenei alluded to the truck drivers’ strike when he placed the blame for the recent protests and mass strikes on the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), of which the MEK is the largest member. He said that the NCRI
adds fuel” to the fire when referring to the strikes and protests.
According to Abedini, when protests and strikes in countries led by dictators have sufficient political support and adequate media coverage, they are successful in their goals. Opposition satellite television and social media in Iran bypass regime censorship and bring news of the resistance directly to the people. Even more terrifying to the regime is the NCRI’s annual Free Iran rally in Paris, held this year on June 30th. This event gives voice to the millions of Iranians who are oppressed by the theocratic regime. The MEK plays a large role in this annual gathering.
Last year in her speech at the event, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the NCRI President-Elect, said, “The regime is besieged by the poor and unemployed youths who additionally want regime change”.
Mrs. Rajavi’s words were prescient, as one year later, Iran erupted into nationwide protests for regime change. Mr. Abedini writes that theocracy has no future in Iran. The West must listen to the voice of the people in Iran who are demanding democratic change.