Iran Protests- The MEK Iran’s Strategy of Resistance Units
November 15, 2019, marks the first day of the protests, which originally sparked due to the prices hike of gasoline, but immediately turned to become the largest uprising since 1979 revolution, targeting Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Hassan Rouhani, President of the regime, and demanding the overthrow of the regime.
The regime was quick to shut down the internet to keep the world on the dark and suppress the protesters by an iron fist.
It is reported that so far over 1500 protesters have been killed by the regimes’ security forces and thousands more have been wounded and detained.
In a press briefing on December 4, 2019, the US State Department Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said Iranian regime “could have murdered over 1,000 Iranian citizens,” in recent protests.
On December 6, 2019, Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights released a statement saying that she was alarmed by “the continuing lack of transparency about casualties and the treatment of thousands of detainees” during the recent protests in Iran. She said that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has video evidence showing that the Iranian regime’s security forces “shooting to kill” protesters during Iran’s latest wave of demonstrations.
Many officials of the regime have admitted that despite the bloody crackdown, the flames of Iran Protests are far from being distinguished.
Despite the most brutal crackdown on the protesters in #Iran, the latest popular protests have managed to continue.https://t.co/mlkf72nbpQ#IranProtests #MEK #FreeIran #StopIranBloodshed @USAdarFarsi pic.twitter.com/KzO2q5Tgm8
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) December 9, 2019
On December 8, 2019, the State-run Siasat daily had a piece concerning the protests. By calling the protest “anarchy” and “sedition” the piece acknowledged that the protests were organized and it will continue.
“It seems that the November 2019 sedition was phase one of the anarchy and it is very possible that phase two will take place in one of the upcoming events.” The piece reads adding:
“Despite the fact that the intelligence apparatuses arrested a number of groups of rioters and thugs, but these groups, due to their capacity which was demonstrated in the November sedition, have a strong and secret organization which must be destroyed…they were very professional and trained…”
The protest itself is not the only phenomenon that frightens the regime, but the new young Iranian generation, that seeks genuine and profound change, is the main problem for the regime.
On December 7, 2019, Ezatolah Zargami, the supreme leader’s representative and former head of the state-run radio and television visited Yasouj University. A courageous student by taking the risk to be arrested and tortured expressed his and his generations feeling towards the regime.
“Most people don’t listen to the jargon of your TV and Radio and follow the daily news from foreign news agencies…I am telling you and your hardliner and reformer colleagues, loud and clear, that the game is over, listen to the cry of people in the streets, they are saying that they don’t want you, reformers and hardliners…” the student in Yasouj University said.
For years there was a notion that the change will come from within the regime and there are reformists inside the mullahs’ regime, but the recent uprising, once again, attested that the notion of having reformists inside the regime is just a mirage.
Among all the Iranian groups and Western governments, only Iran’s main opposition group the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI-MEK) had rejected this notion and viewed the regime as a cohesive religious dictatorship with two factions fighting each other to save the regime with its own ambitions and agenda. Due to this viewpoint, the MEK had adopted the strategy of regime change by the resistance units and popular uprisings.
In 2013, the Iranian Resistance’s Leader Massoud Rajavi announced the strategy of 1,000 Ashrafs and bastions of rebellion and resistance units.
“Lifting the torch of the uprising by resistance units at any opportunity, any time and any place is the order of the day and an urgent revolutionary and patriotic duty.” Rajavi said in his message after the December 2017-January 2018 uprising, adding: “The Iranian people’s fate in the war of liberation will be determined by resistance units and rebellious cities.”
The 2017-2018 uprising was the first real test of the MEK’s resistance units. Prior to that uprising, their activity was limited to torching portrays of regime’s leaders and to post portrays of Iranian resistance leaders in different cities. In 2017-2018 uprising the resistance units became the main element in organizing the protests. On January 9, 2018, the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei acknowledged that the MEK is organizing the uprising.
Mullahs in #Iran hopelessly try to prevent a popular uprising and thwart the expansion of resistance units by using internal suppression and external sponsorship of #terrorism https://t.co/sHwxd0FbHk#MEK @USAdarFarsi pic.twitter.com/nHTsy5xLNu
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) October 17, 2019
“Evidence shows that these issues had been organized, and a triangle was active in organizing it. One of the vertices of this triangle was the United States and the Zionists; the second vertex of the triangle is one of the richest governments in the Persian Gulf, and the third vertex is the [PMOI-MEK], and they have been ready since months ago.” Khamenei said in a televised speech adding:
“They were ready since months ago; the media of the MEK confessed it; they announced the call, and made the slogan “No to high prices”.
In 2017-2018 uprising, MEK’s strategy was significantly received by the Iranian people, especially the youths all across Iran. The main slogans of the uprising were “death to the dictator”, “Death to Khamenei”, “Death to Rouhani” and “hardliners, reformers, the game is over”.
Since the 2017-2018 uprising, the resistance units escalated their activities by organizing and recruiting new members and torching the symbols of the regime. Thousands of such acts all across Iran drew the attention of the youth to how to fight back with the mullah’s regime and its suppressive forces.
The November 2019 uprising proved that the Iranian society has embraced the strategy and tactics of the MEK and its resistance units. This was recently voiced by many regime’s senior officials, including Ali Shamkhani, regimes’ Secretary for Supreme National Security Council.
“I believe 34 MEK members have been arrested so far. A vast network of individuals, operating not under the MEK’s name, but pursuing their line and modus operandi were also identified,”
Shamkhani said in a press conference on November 24, 2019.
Similar remarks by other senior officials of the regime explicitly and implicitly acknowledged to the same fact.
On November 22, 2019, during Friday prayer congregations, Ahmad Khatami, the Friday prayer leader of Tehran, alluded to the role of the MEK in the protests and said, “They themselves had said that they had prepared three years in advance. They had trained people outside and inside the country.”
Ali Rabiei, the spokesperson of regime president Hassan Rouhani, said, “[The protesters] were targeting military and security centers… they created chaos and returned to their hideouts.”
Other Iranian officials went further and described the regime’s survival as divine intervention. “There was incredible coordination during the protests. They were just waiting for a spark to destroy the entire country. Further information will be revealed after the arrested confess,” said Salar Abnoush, a senior IRGC commander. Abnoush added, “We had seen miracles in the revolution and during the sedition, but this sedition was of a different scale… as a person who was on the ground, I believe that God saved us.”
The impact of MEK’s strategy of resistance units on the uprising was best articulated by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the Iranian resistance leader in her speech in commemorating the martyrs of November 2019 uprising.
“Today, the strategy of resistance units and rebellious cities plainly plays out in Iran’s rebellious cities from Tehran Province to Khuzestan, Isfahan, Yazd, Kerman, Kurdistan, Gilan, and Mazandaran.
The regime’s theorists had this to say about the uprisings of the past several days: “A new phenomenon” has emerged. They wrote: “Tehran’s satellite towns were the focal points of riots.” Petrified, they point to people “who now feel that they have reached the end of the line.”
Yes, the same people who have reached the end of the line, those who do not have anything to lose, are the very people who establish the resistance units and the rebellious cities. They are the ones who pave the way for ending the regime’s disgraceful rule. Their message to the regime is clear. They say: You answered every form of expression and every protest with repression, torture, and execution. Now, here you are. Our answer lies in the fiery rage of defiant masses who say we do not want the Velayat-e Faqih regime.”Mrs. Rajavi said adding:
The uprisings of December 2017-January 2018, and the uprising of August 2018 were also suppressed by Khamenei, but they gave impetus to November 2019 uprising. #Iran #IranProtests pic.twitter.com/kWBJJio47j
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) December 14, 2019
“Immediately after the eruption of nationwide uprisings in December 2017-January 2018, the Iranian Resistance reiterated that neither the regime nor the broader social conditions in Iran will ever revert back to the pre-uprising equilibrium. The uprising in recent days offered further proof of this reality.
Of course, the mullahs have tried hard and they will continue to do so. They have resorted to terrorism, to the demonization of the Iranian people and Resistance, to belligerence and warmongering in the region and in the Persian Gulf, and to the unimpeded suppression of people all across the country. But they have no way out of a crisis that triggers their overthrow.
Today, the regime’s intelligence officials claim that “the instigators of recent incidents who sought to foment insecurity have been arrested in many parts of the country.” But they either do not know or plead ignorance that discontent and uprisings have reached a tipping point at which they are constantly producing more and more of such instigators, namely, the rebellious youths and the resistance units.
The entire issue is that the Velayat-e Faqih regime has reached the end of the line.”