Next Uprising.

MEK Iran: Regime’s Crackdown on Protests Will Not Prevent Next Uprising

Next Uprising.

The regime has continually blamed the MEK for the protests in Iran, reversing its longstanding policy of minimizing the importance of the MEK’s influence in Iran. This has backfired on Tehran badly, as it has revealed the mullahs’ fear of the MEK and made the international community aware that the group has an active presence in the country.

Nearly three years after nationwide protests set off a Resistance Movement in Iran, regime leaders have been unable to suppress the growing tide of rebellion that has swept across the country.

Multiple security forces, including the Army, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and local police, temporarily suppressed the December 2017/January 2018 Uprisings, the November 2019 Uprisings, the January 2020 nationwide protests, and the hundreds of smaller protests and strikes that took place across the country over the last three years, but each time a protest was shut down, five more were organized.

In fact, security forces were only able to suppress the 2017/2018 Uprisings after killing dozens of protesters and arresting thousands more over a two-week period. Even after this gross display of brutality, in 2018 the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran) recorded a total of 9,357 anti-regime protests in Iran, in what National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) President-elect Maryam Rajavi called “a year full of uprisings.”

Crackdowns

The Iranian regime has relied on crackdowns as its sole strategy to maintain control over its people. Rather than address the valid concerns expressed by the people, the mullahs respond to peaceful protests with violent suppression. This has proven time and again to be ineffective. Protesters have been shot on the street, arrested by the tens of thousands, tortured, and executed, but this only strengthens their desire for a free Iran.

During the November 2019 Uprisings, the regime shut down the country’s Internet access to prevent the world from witnessing the nationwide protests and the government’s brutal response, but tech-savvy MEK supporters managed to get videos and images of the protests out of the country. The world watched in horror as IRGC troops fired blindly into crowds from helicopters as streets across the country filled with Iranians from all walks of life demanding change. The regime’s attempts to hide its actions and suppress the protests amplified the world’s outrage and have led to international calls for investigations into human rights abuses in Iran.

In September, the regime’s judiciary used yet another intimidation tactic to prevent future protests. Champion wrestler Navid Afkari was executed on September 12 over the objections of athletes from around the world, numerous human rights organizations, world leaders, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Afkari was arrested for participating in nationwide protests in August 2018 in his hometown of Shiraz and subsequently falsely charged with the murder of a municipal employee. This is a common tactic employed with political prisoners. He was then tortured for 50 days before falsely confessing to the crime. Prosecutors presented no evidence other than his coerced confession, and Afkari was denied an appeal.

Again, Afkari’s execution has accelerated calls for investigations into human rights abuses in Iran and led to the cancellation of a visit to Germany from regime Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. It has also done nothing to dissuade Iranians from protesting.

Warnings from Regime Insiders

The regime has continually blamed the MEK for the protests in Iran, reversing its longstanding policy of minimizing the importance of the MEK’s influence in Iran. This has backfired on Tehran badly, as it has revealed the mullahs’ fear of the MEK and made the international community aware that the group has an active presence in the country. This was difficult to confirm before due to the regime’s closed media.

Now that the regime speaks openly about the MEK’s influence, it is a regular topic when discussing public discontent. However, authorities still seem incapable of grasping their role in the growing social unrest. In a recent interview on state TV, armed forces spokesperson Abolfazi Shekarchi spoke about the dual mission of the IRGC. Shekarchi said that the IRGC must defend the “ideological frontiers” of the Islamic Revolution at home and abroad, and at home, that means confronting the MEK, lest it further undermines public confidence in the regime. He did not address the problems that create a lack of public confidence.

The state-run Arman daily touched on some of these problems in a Sunday editorial which states that MEK activities are driven by economic dissatisfaction and lack of compensation from regime officials. “The economic pressure that lower social classes endure is unbearable,” it read.

“We should be careful that they do not lose their tolerance because this could have social and security consequences.”

As anyone with even a passing knowledge of Iranian current events knows, the regime will do nothing to alleviate economic suffering. Another uprising is likely as soon as the pandemic ends or public anger outweighs the danger of infection.

MEK Iran (follow them on Twitter and Facebook)

and People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran – MEK IRAN – YouTube

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