MEK: A New Year Brings New Hope to Iranians
Saturday. March 21 was the first day of Nowruz, the Persian New Year. Iranians celebrated the beginning of the year 1400 with family visits, new clothing, feasts, and Spring cleaning.
Nowruz is a time when Iranians look to the future with optimism, and this year was no exception, despite the events of the past year. The Covid-19 pandemic has taken the lives of more than 238,500 people in Iran, according to the latest MEK reports. The regime’s Health Ministry is still reporting only a quarter of these deaths in its official figures.
Ali Khamenei banning the import of vaccines
There appears to be no end in sight to coronavirus deaths in Iran, thanks to an edict from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei banning the import of American and British-made vaccines. This is only the latest example of the regime’s failure to safeguard the Iranian people from the deadly virus.
Last year, regime officials covered up evidence of the first outbreaks of Covid-19 in the country so as not to disrupt pro-regime celebrations held in honor of the Islamic Revolution. Officials ended the country’s lockdown while cases still surged, causing a second wave of cases and deaths.
The regime failed to allocate sufficient funds toward coronavirus relief
The regime failed to allocate sufficient funds toward coronavirus relief, and 70 percent of the funds that were designated to the Health Ministry never made it to their intended targets.
The sick and dying have been turned away from overcrowded hospitals, nurses have been forced to work without health benefits, and healthcare workers who have dared to provide the public with accurate information about the number of victims have been arrested and imprisoned.
Why, then, is there such a sense of optimism? Much of it has to do with the regime itself. Those who have suffered at the hands of the Iranian regime are ready to see it overthrown, and the last year brought that dream a lot closer.
Protesting for Porters
Mrs. Rajavi cited the recent protests in impoverished Sistan and Baluchestan Province that were sparked by the murder of protesting fuel porters by Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). The disenfranchised ethnic minority porters have been targeted and killed by IRGC members for years without consequences, so the regime thought it would be acceptable to open fire on more than a dozen peacefully protesting porters, killing ten.
The backlash was fierce and led to days-long demonstrations and clashes across Sistan and Baluchestan and in other provinces. According to Mrs. Rajavi, these protests indicate that “the fire of the uprisings has risen from under the ashes of the coronavirus.”
Conviction of a Terrorist Diplomat
Last year also saw the conviction of regime diplomat Assadollah Assadi for masterminding the foiled terrorist attack on the 2018 Free Iran Gathering.
Assadi was tried in a Belgian court, where prosecutors determined that he had been ordered to launch the attack on the MEK and Iranian Resistance by officials high within the Iranian regime.
He received the maximum 20-year sentence and became the first sitting diplomat to be convicted of terrorism charges on European soil.
A Win for Competency
The election of U.S. President Joe Biden has brought a surprising twist to negotiations for a new Iran nuclear deal. The Biden administration has refused to offer concessions to the Iranian regime and has demanded that Tehran cease its ballistic missiles program, regional aggression, and human rights violations, as well as its nuclear program before sanctions relief, will be offered. The regime, predictably, refuses to negotiate.
While Biden’s demands are almost identical to Trump’s, Biden’s use of basic diplomacy has brought back European allies to the table. Tehran will have a much harder time arguing for appeasement under a Biden presidency than under the previous one.
There is indeed cause for optimism in the year 1400.