MEK Iran: Regime’s Crackdown on Protests Will Not Prevent Next Uprising
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.
#MEK #Iran on Dec. 16th 2019 stated that the death toll had reached 1500 in the Nove. protests It was even able to publish names of 765 victims which is distributed to human rights organizations https://t.co/m9vx8WlwVz #IRGCTerrorWithoutBorders #Iranian #coronavirus @USAdarFarsi pic.twitter.com/G2gUCS8HSj
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) June 6, 2020
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.”
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.
For many years, the people of Iran have despised the mullahs that rule their country. They have watched the regime suppress their rights and plunder their nation’s wealth. https://t.co/gf85AU09Qb #Iran #MEK #IRGCTerrorWithoutBorders #Iranian #coronavirus @USAdarFarsi pic.twitter.com/kgVCkzR3uX
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) June 3, 2020
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.
Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK Iran/PMOI) said yesterday that there have been at least 1500 killed in #IranProtests in #Iran which began on 15 November 2019. #MEK Iran also released the names of 504 slain protesters.https://t.co/m9jsCDZTWC@USAdarFarsi #StopIranBloodshed pic.twitter.com/GwEFjWgYB6
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) December 16, 2019
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.
#NavidAfkari said in one of his last messages that he is fighting against the most ruthless adversary in human history.And there is no doubt that it will be toppled as a result of the struggle &uprisings of the courageous youths and the great Army of Freedom #StopExecutionsinIran pic.twitter.com/ilmMuXxnue
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) September 19, 2020
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.
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei spoke to the young men about the PMOI #MEK #Iran and his concerns about the opposition group. He warned that the regime needs to be “careful about the enemy recruiting members of our young society”.https://t.co/Ez238fMSxZ#Iranian @USAdarFarsi pic.twitter.com/gUpnkHwzAZ
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) May 20, 2020
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 ‘natural mission’ of the IRGC.” Shekarchi was asked to explain the ideological frontiers and he responded by saying that it was all about confronting the #PMOI #MEK #Iran. https://t.co/yWggNapoOW pic.twitter.com/drAJXi5nYf
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) September 27, 2020
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.”
#Iran State-Media Reflect Mullahs’ Fear of #MEK’s Role in Increasing International Pressure on Regime: The recent activation of the United Nations sanctions snapback mechanism has terrified the #Iranian regime.#MaryamRajavi pic.twitter.com/JTfKrJ7sXK
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) September 29, 2020
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.