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Fire festival in Iran

MEK-Iran: Fire Festival Becomes Act of Rebellion as Protesters Clash with Suppressive Forces

Fire festival in Iran

Fire Festival in Iran, turns in to a protest against the regime in entire Iran

On Tuesday, March 29th, people in cities across Iran, especially the youth, used the celebration of Chaharshanbe Suri (Fire Festival) as an opportunity to protest the mullahs’ oppressive regime. The protests took place despite the regime’s efforts to prevent celebrations of the national holiday.

 

Last year’s Fire Festival followed the December 2017 uprisings that spread to 142 cities in every province over a two-week period. The massive nationwide protests brought thousands of Iranians from all sectors of society into the streets to demand the overthrow of the clerical regime and sparked a protest movement that continues to this day.

Chaharshanbe Suri came on the heels of this massive uprising, and the MEK and Iranian Resistance organized celebrations of the event in cities and towns around the country as an act of rebellion. The regime, which was already shaken to its core by the uprisings and growing Iranian Resistance, reacted to the Fire Festival celebrations with suppressive actions.

Fatwa against Chaharshanbe Suri

This year the regime expressed its fear of protests by stepping up its attempts to prevent celebrations of Chaharshanbe Suri. Regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa against the Fire Festival, saying that “Chaharshanbe Suri has no religious basis and it leads to damage or corruption or propagation of false beliefs, not permitted.” Members of the regime’s judiciary warned people in several cities that “those in violation” would be dealt with severely.

Protests and Clashes with Suppressive Forces

Despite these threats, youth in a number of cities, including Tehran, Mashad, Karaj, Masjed Soleiman, Khorramabad, Semnan, Ilam, and Mahshahr protested on Tuesday, burning pictures and effigies of Khamenei and Khomeini and chanting, “Death to Khamenei, death to the principle of Velayat-e-faqih, death to the dictator, with you, Dictator, we would fight fire with fire!

 

In other cities, people attacked official centers with sound grenades and fireworks. In the city of

Divandareh, youth clashed with repressive forces, who fired guns into the air to disperse protesters.

Attempts at Suppression

In Isfahan and several other cities, security forces unsuccessfully attempted to stop people from celebrating Chaharshanbe Suri, but their attacks were not enough to stop the Fire Festival.

 

The clerical regime slowed the Internet in some areas and cut off access to the Internet completely in others in attempts to prevent protesters from sharing photographs and videos of the protests on social media. These efforts were not entirely successful.

Background

Chaharshanbe Suri is an Iranian tradition that predates the Islamic regime. The Fire Festival takes place on the last Tuesday before Nowruz, the Persian New Year, and includes a number of traditions, including jumping over a bonfire. The holiday has long been a target of the mullahs’ ire because of its association with pre-Islamic tradition, but it is deeply ingrained in Iranian culture and particularly popular among the nation’s youth. Attempts to suppress public celebrations of Chaharshanbe Suri have proved to be fruitless, and over the past two years, the holiday has become a symbol of the growing Resistance Movement.

The MEK’s Social Headquarters issued a communique on March 1, 2019, inviting the youth of Iran and the Resistance Units to burn pictures and effigies of Khamenei, Khomeini, and other symbols of the regime in every street and corner during celebrations of Chaharshanbe Suri.

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Fire festival

MEK Calls for Protests at Festival of Fire

Fire festival

The Iranian people celebrate the Fire Festival every year as part of Iran’s ancient customs, despite heavy security measures and the Iranian regime’s abandoning the rituals. The Iranian regime is terrified that the people will use the opportunity to take it to the street and turn the festival into a large demonstration against the regime.

 

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran-PMOI (MEK) has called for the annual Fire Festival and the last week of the Iranian calendar year into a year of protests and fire against the mullahs ruling Iran.

March 21st marks the Persian New Year (Nowruz), which is preceded by the annual Festival of Fire (Charshanbe Suri). The mullahs have attempted to prevent public celebrations of the pre-Islamic celebrations, but the people of Iran persist in honoring their culture in what has become an act of defiance against the repressive regime.

December 2017 Uprisings

Last year’s Fire Festival came just weeks after the December 2017 people’s uprisings, in which thousands of Iranians in 142 cities in every province took to the streets to demand the overthrow of the regime over a two week period. Despite brutal crackdowns by the regime, including the arrests of over 8,000 protesters and the deaths of at least 14 protesters in custody due to torture, protests continued in the streets of Iran.

A New Day

The 2018 Fire Festival became an act of rebellion for the people of Iran. Chaharshanbeh Souri is a pre-Islamic tradition of jumping over a fire to symbolize purification and a new beginning. Nowruz is a Persian word meaning “new day.” The MEK and Iranian Resistance organized demonstrations during Charshanbe Suri and Nowruz as a show of defiance to the mullahs and a vow to the people that a new day had dawned in Iran.

One year later, anti-regime protests and strikes continue on a daily basis in the streets of Iran. People from all sectors of society have joined together in calls for regime change, and chants of “Death to Khamenei!” are heard regularly in demonstrations. The MEK’s Resistance Units have used social media to disseminate news and worked on the ground with diverse groups of people to organize an opposition movement that is too powerful for the regime to suppress.

 

The Festival of Fire is here once again, and the MEK is ready to celebrate this new beginning with another act of rebellion. The progress made over the past year cannot be denied, but there is more work to be done. Regime change is close at hand. A new day is upon us.

 

The following is the full statement from the MEK:

 

Fellow compatriots,

Brave youths across Iran,

The annual Fire Festival is here. We must turn the last week of the [Iranian calendar] year into a year of protests and fire against the mullahs ruling Iran.

Along with Resistance Units, we must tear down images of [the mullahs’ Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei, [regime founder Ruhollah] Khomeini and anything symbolizing the mullahs’ rule in all four corners of our country. Setting fire to any and all signs and symbols of Khomeini, Khamenei and [mullahs’ President Hassan] Rouhani brings joy to the Iranian people’s hearts.

Let us welcome in the New Year with a fire uprising during the annual Fire Festival.

This will be a launching pad to expand protests and the uprising throughout the New Year, at any time and any place.

We can and we must take back Iran from the corrupt and criminal mullahs. The spring of victory has arrived. This most beautiful country will be free.

March 1, 2019



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