Khamenei’s remarks about Iran’s ongoing protests underlines the regime’s vulnerability
The supreme leader of the regime, Ali Khamenei, finally spoke out after 18 days of nonstop nationwide protests in Iran, but he did so only to express support for his security forces and their oppressive tactics in an effort to raise their morale. Videos from Iran show the killing, brutal detention, and beating of unarmed protesters by the country’s security forces. The Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and the Basij paramilitary forces have allegedly been “mistreated,” according to Khamenei. In the meantime, on Friday, the IRGC forces opened fire on peaceful prayers in the province of Sistan and Baluchistan, leaving dozens dead and hundreds injured.
Despite the regime’s attempts to put an end to the unprecedented, but growing, unrest throughout Iran, courageous Iranian women, and young people have steadfastly continued their protests.
Protests erupted in Iran in the aftermath of the tragic murder of Mahsa Amini by the so-called “morality police.” Within hours of her passing, crowds of people flooded the streets, shouting slogans that were directed at Khamenei and his entire regime.
Nonetheless, Khamenei openly shed crocodile tears for Mahsa, who was murdered by his thugs for having a wisp of hair protruding from her headscarf. If this is true, why do the state security forces keep killing? The Iranian opposition has reported that over 400 protesters have died and about 20,000 have been detained so far.
#Iran society’s explosive state, pent-up discontent & confrontation between the people & ruling regime have reached a peak.
Protests, discontent, the people’s powerful & widespread demand for overthrowing Khamenei is simmering. #IranProtestshttps://t.co/V2uC0Xb4Rc pic.twitter.com/6vJkCJ0chf
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) February 15, 2022
Mahsa’s tragic death only served to ignite Iran’s volatile society, as Khamenei acknowledged. The nation’s economic hardship, systemic corruption, political repression, and social constraints have been breeding deep resentments and anger for decades.
As usual, Khamenei attempted to downplay the role of the Iranian Resistance and the country’s demand for regime change by characterizing Iranian protesters as manifestations of “global arrogance.” However, he could not stop himself from disparaging the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK), the organized opposition, by referring to the “organized nature of these riots.”
“This was an organized riot. The judiciary should prosecute those who participated in these riots according to their share in damaging the security,” Khamenei said while desperately showing his teeth as protests continue to spread despite the regime’s crackdown.
The special feature of this era is that regardless of the fact that the regime in #Iran abandons or keeps its nuclear program, it will face an outbreak of uprisings where the PMOI/MEK and its Resistance Units will play their leading role.#MEKResistanceUnits pic.twitter.com/UXOrJWszc4
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) August 5, 2022
Before Khamenei, his representatives in various cities and other regime officials echoed Khamenei’s utter fear of the MEK and its role in the current uprising as “Resistance Units.” The regime’s parliament’s Friday prayer sermons are riddled with anti-MEK rhetoric, and a gang of hoodlums posing as lawmakers staged a protest chanting anti-MEK slogans.
At a press conference on September 23 in New York, the regime’s president Ebrahim Raisi declared that “the sworn enemies of Islam,” such as the western media and the MEK, “are spreading lies.”Khamenei’s comments, along with the ongoing demonstrations in Iran and the opposition’s involvement, only exposed the regime’s vulnerabilities and challenges.
The recent events in Iran have shown that the people will continue to resist the forces of the regime despite all obstacles and will not give up on their justifiable demand for democracy. The onus is now on the international community to do more than just denounce state violence against unarmed Iranians. The right of the Iranian people to self-defense and resistance should be acknowledged by the international community.