Iran’s democratic opposition MEK will pave the way for a new revolution
More than a month ago, “morality police” in Tehran confronted Mahsa Amini, 22, about the placement of her mandatory head covering, subjecting her to such physical abuse that she fell into a coma and died three days later. Since then, the international media has given the ensuing protests increasing importance, but has repeatedly fallen into the trap of undermining that perception with descriptions of the protests as “leaderless.”
Demands for regime change
That label clearly implies that the uprising is also aimless, that there is no specific or unified goal driving it, and that it is primarily an expression of general outrage over Ms. Amini’s death at the hands of abusive authorities.
Actually, the forced veiling and violent enforcement of religious behavior were long gone when the uprising began. Today, it has a much broader focus and makes very specific demands for systemic change and the overthrow of Iran’s current clerical regime.
— Ali Safavi (@amsafavi) October 17, 2022
The movement has spread across Iran
Since the first round of protests, the movement has spread to at least 190 cities across all 31 provinces. It has also seen consistent participation from a diverse range of ethnic and religious groups, occupations, socioeconomic backgrounds, and ages.
Teenagers became a prominent force within the movement at the beginning of October when students in high schools began protesting and chanting “Death to Khamenei,” referring to the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.
Later in the month, the movement gained a strong economic component, with workers in the oil industry staging protests to express solidarity with the nationwide uprising.
Workers were heard repeating the same slogans that have defined the current uprising and several previous nationwide protest movements at the sites of their strikes. “Death to the dictator,” “Death to Khamenei,” and “Death to the oppressor, be it the Shah or the Leader (Khamenei)” are among the most prominent.
Since the beginning of recent #IranProtests2022, which have engulfed 193 cities across #Iran today, demonstrators chanted: “We will not go home until we conclude this revolution!”https://t.co/yVlUtg9R8e
— Iran News Update (@IranNewsUpdate1) October 22, 2022
Uprising could pave the way for a new revolution
Several Western policymakers and journalists have appeared increasingly open to the idea that the current uprising could pave the way for a new revolution, eventually leading to the mullahs’ demise. At least 260 members of the United States House of Representatives have endorsed a resolution affirming the Iranian people’s right to oppose tyranny and expressing support for Iran’s leading pro-democracy opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
The MEK has unmistakably played a role in this and previous uprisings that have given voice to public demands for regime change and a democratic alternative.
5)#Brussels, October 21, 2022: The Large Demonstration of Iranian Resistance (#NCRI and #MEK) Supporters, Supporting the Nationwide #IranProtests for the Democratic Republic#IranRevolution #IranRevolution2022 #IranProtests2022 #MahsaAmini pic.twitter.com/xYikO2lLda
— Iran Freedom-En (@4freedominiran2) October 21, 2022
The “Resistance Units” has become increasingly active
In January 2018, when Iran was in the midst of another round of protests, none other than the regime’s Supreme Leader Khamenei acknowledged the MEK’s role – the first of several to feature explicit national condemnation of the entire system. Since then, the MEK’s network of “Resistance Units” has become increasingly active, broadening its tactics to include defacing and shutting down government websites and state media broadcasts, as well as destroying government billboards and statues and posting pro-democracy messages and images of Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and Massoud Rajavi, leader of the Iranian resistance, in public places.
Resistance Units in Mashhad broadcast chants of “Death to the dictator,” “Death to the dictator,” and “MEK prisoners must be freed” in Hor Square.#Iran #IranRevoIution2022
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) October 21, 2022